NAACP Corpus Christi members contest the chapter's recent election results

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – NAACP-Corpus Christi outgoing President Terry Mills held a press conference Thursday morning giving a public face to a faction of the group that protested what he described as a “fraud election” .

“I’m sure I’ll get in trouble with the National Bureau – I don’t care,” said Mills. “Someone told me this morning – I haven’t heard it personally – if I agree to this press conference that I will be removed from the club. Remove me. Because I will always speak in the name of justice.”

The H. Boyd Hall Chapter – as the local group is officially called – announced the election results on Friday. Jeremy Coleman defeated Mills.

Those in attendance on Thursday alluded to the fact that the NAACP’s parent organization was responsible for the rift. Mills said the group never received a response to their attempts to contact the national bureau to conduct a Zoom poll.

And according to other members, votes were supposed to have been sent by email but were never received, nor were they told that an election was about to take place.

“The NAACP has very high standards and we are calling for this fraud election to be invalidated and for a revision to be made,” he said. “Correct the wrong things that have been done.”

Mills said Thursday that his objection to the results had nothing to do with hurt feelings and anything to do with fairness, citing the circumstance surrounding this electoral suppression.

“We treat the people in this organization fairly,” he said. “(The) NAACP is fighting for such things in the United States.”

Several members spoke during the event, including some who said they were on the ballot. However, they said they never got a chance to vote for themselves.

“I am like many of you,” said longtime member Jewel Wilson. “I didn’t have a chance to vote. I didn’t know anything about it until it was finished. I found out about it at church Sunday morning. I didn’t know anything about it. It wasn’t in my email, it wasn’t in my text messages.”

Mills said 90 percent of the group’s members did not vote in the elections – a deviation from the turnout in previous years. Of the 840 members of the chapter, 150 of those votes went to Coleman and Mills received 17. He said he had received hundreds of votes in his favor in previous elections, in stark contrast to Friday’s results.

“I’ve been in a lot of elections. I’ve lost four, but I’m not counting that. This is a scam,” he said, raising four fingers and wiggling a fifth thumb.

And after these losses, he said, he approached his opponent and shook his hand, congratulated him and offered him his help. He said he couldn’t do that now under the circumstances.

“I can’t do this with a clear conscience because I know this was stolen from the voters,” he said. “Take me out of the process, but you need to be heard.”

It’s a feeling Wilson repeated.

“We all feel very, very hurt that we haven’t been notified,” she said. “We don’t care who won. Do it right.”

This is a developing story. Use KRIS 6 News to check for updates.