Judge rules Pine Bluff November election is legal

PINE BLUFF (KATV) - The ballots have already been printed bearing the names of all nine candidates, but it wasn't until Wednesday afternoon that those candidates learned the votes would be counted.

As Judge James Moody introduced the case, it was clear this hearing would be unusual. On one side of the courtroom a bench-full of mayoral candidates, they were separated only by an aisle from the incumbent whose seat they're seeking.

Also unusual, no party was there to argue the facts. Most of the time was spent citing relevant law for the judge to consider. Following a couple hours in the courtroom, it only took Judge Moody ten minutes to rule that the law allows the election to be held in November.

As folks filed from the courtroom a few hugs, a few shouts of glee could be heard.

The lawsuit now decided, Mayor Carl Redus says he doesn't believe the loss will hurt his chances.

"I wouldn't think so, the citizens of Pine Bluff know that we were trying to make sure that we follow the law," said Redus.

However, with only five weeks left, time is running out. Already the candidates have slowed fundraising, unsure if the election would even happen, but some say that changes after today.

"I think that this will add momentum to the election and that people will be ecstatic over this and I think that this election is a pivotal point for our city," said candidate Debbie Hollingsworth.

Mayor Redus says he is unsure if he will appeal the decision.