Pine Bluff Mayor files lawsuit

(KATV) The Pine Bluff mayor is suing eight residents and the Jefferson County Election Commission. Mayor Debe Hollingsworth defeated Carl Redus in 2012; it is a four-year position. But Redus says the election cycle changed when the city's population dropped below 50,000 in the latest Census.

This is not Carl Redus' first attempt with that same argument. While in office, he was unsuccessful in adding two-years to his term. The court addressed the population change then too.{}

Mayor Hollingsworth says, "How can 4 people say that there is going to be an election? It makes no sense."

Mayor Hollingsworth stood on the court house steps and announced she filed a lawsuit, as a resident and that she is paying for it out of {}her pocket. "I have personally filed a complaint against Carl A. Redus Jr., the Jefferson County Election Commission, Ted Davis, Cynthia Sims, Loretta Whitfield, Will Fox, Lloyd Franklin, Stu Soffer, in addition to the Jefferson County clerk, Patricia Johnson."

This month, the majority of the election commissioners voted in favor of Carl Redus' request to hold a city election.

MARCH 10 KATV: Jefferson County Election Commission: Pine Bluff will have 2014 mayor's race

The election commissions own legal counsel, the prosecuting attorney, Secretary of State's office and Judge Jay Moody have all stated the mayoral election should remain in 2016. "My question to date is, how many [opinions] does it take?" the Mayor asked the crowd.

City Treasurer, Greg Gustek says these individuals are trying to take the power away from the voters. The possibility of an election impacts all municipal offices. He says, "I was elected for 4-years. I am only in the third month of my second year, so this is what all the confusion is about."

Stu Soffer says, "I command Mayor Hollingsworth for having the fortitude to stand up to these thugs."

Soffer is named among the quote, "thugs" because he is the Election Commissioner, but he voted against the early election. "I think the law suit is a righteous one, it is totally unnecessary and would not have been necessary if my two associate election commissioners had followed the law. I contend that both democratic election commissioners [Ted Davis and Cynthia Sims] violated the law. One of them knowingly, the other perhaps leadingly."

The election commission chairman, Ted Davis, named in the suit, was Carl Redus' chief of staff.

Mayor Hollingsworth attorney is asking for an expedited hearing in the next 7-days.

Stay with Channel Seven for updates.