Candidate Bio

Joseph is a proud graduate of Hamshire-Fannett High School and the University of Texas at Austin. He has served in numerous leadership roles over the last nine years and remains politically active. He is the former assistant to Congressman Nick Lampson and currently spearheads the expansion of the Children's Center, Inc. into Jefferson County. He serves on the Land Manor Drug Rehabilitation Program’s

Board of Directors, is the Program Chair of the Freedom Fund Banquet for the NAACP, and is a member of the Young Professionals Organization of Southeast Texas and Leadership Beaumont Class of 2020. He was the communications and campus director of University Democrats at UT Austin, chairman of the distinguished Student Endowed Centennial Lectureship, and appointed as a board member on the Counseling and Mental Health Center's Advisory Board and UT Austin Police Department's Oversight Committee. 

He is a fifth generation Jefferson County resident with deep ties in the community and strong organizing skills to lead the Democratic Party into its next chapter. Joseph is the son of Sgt. Howard J. Trahan, III of the Beaumont Police Department and Dr. Fonda Woodsmall, Ed.D. His paternal grandparents are Howard J. Trahan, Jr. and Loyce Trahan. Howard was a prominent civil rights leader and politician who served on the Beaumont Independent School District's Board of Trustees for over 20 years. His maternal grandparents are Ed and Faye Woodsmall. Ed is a retired captain from the Beaumont Police Department and Faye is a retired sergeant as well as the city's first female police officer. It is because of his family that he is a staunch supporter of unions, public education, and the Democratic Party.

 It's clear Joseph is rooted in the community and uniquely positioned to lead the Jefferson County Democratic Party. He is committed to fundraising on the party's behalf, better organizing its internal activities, and strengthening its credibility among the various constituencies it represents. The three words that describe his leadership style are principled, progressive, and inclusive. It's time to pass the torch and show the county that the Democratic Party is in fact a big tent with values rooted in humanity. Will you join us? #TeamTrahan



From being elected student body president at his high school and leading prestigious organizations in college to spearheading the expansion of a non-profit organization committed to protecting vulnerable children, Joseph has valuable experiences that uniquely qualify him for this position. As chairman, he pledges to build off of the progress made over the last three years by Cade Bernsen and make necessary improvements to strengthen party operations. It will require long term planning, organizational structure, successful fundraising efforts, community building, and a commitment to being accessible to voters. That's how we are going to keep Jefferson County blue, and Joseph has the energy to see it through.


If there's one thing Joseph can't stand, it's a goal without a long-term strategy. Every entity, whether a political party or private business, must be strategically organized. The Jefferson County Democratic Party has made great strides over the last four years and championed a great deal of success at the ballot. However, there is always room for improvement. Our county is electing Republicans in key positions of leadership and resembles more purple than blue. Joseph proposes the following:

- Establish permanent committees for fundraising, volunteerism, event planning, and candidate scouting

- Hold at least one precinct chair meeting a month, year round 

- Replace precinct chairs that are inactive or under-performing

- Actively seek to identify new precinct chairs, co-chairs, and block captains

- Require members of the executive committee to plan for elections at least one year in advance of a primary rather than scrambling a few months prior to an election

- Prioritize consistent means of communicating with precinct chairs, volunteers, donors, and registered voters about party events, meetings, and fundraising through email, phone banking, and block walking (must be more personable) 

- Host dinners for precinct chairs, party volunteers, and donors to strengthen camaraderie, keep them engaged, and express appreciation (every other month)

- Welcome back alienated party members, encourage unity, and be firm in executive committee participation 

Community Relevance

Joseph believes that the external success of any organization is directly tied to its relevancy to the community in which it resides. Far too often, registered voters and apathetic residents feel that the local Democratic Party takes them for granted. Our elected officials, candidates, and party activity are seldom to be found when it's not election season. We must be engaged prior, during, and after every election. Our presence should be felt throughout precincts and neighborhoods in the form of events and volunteerism. Joseph proposes the following: 

- Be more visible and active as a party through community volunteerism (committee focused on volunteering)

- Plan and host neighborhood block parties, cook-offs, and community centered events (party donors and elected officials can alternate sponsorship) 

- Improve presence in Port Arthur, Mid-County, and unincorporated communities

- Form alliances with Hispanic business owners and empower their growing community

- Continue to be proactive in defending and supporting unions 

- Keep Facebook and website updated on a weekly basis with local, state, and national news as well as upcoming events (current Facebook page is unengaging and website is outdated) 


Joseph's leadership has centered around authenticity and transparency in every position he's held. Leaders should be trustworthy, accessible, and responsive. It is crucial that a chairman not actively seek to impact the outcome of a primary election or work behind the scenes to undermine the integrity of an election. Joseph is fair, principled, and committed to upholding the integrity of the party. He pledges to remain removed from future primary elections with the exception of candidate scouting in the event that a Democrat doesn't challenge a Republican. Also, he intends to provide quarterly financial reports and itemized expenses for donors and precinct chairs to access. Fiscal responsibility and accountability are of great importance to him.


Election Information 

Don't miss these important dates! 

Early Voting Dates

Early Voting for the March 3, 2020, Democratic and Republican Joint Primary Election, begins Tuesday, February 18, 2020, and ends Friday, February 28, 2020.

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