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Posted: Tuesday, 29 April 2014 4:20PM

Benton Harbor Mayor Confident Of Win Regardless Of Recall Election Date

Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower is confident that he will be retained by voters on Tuesday if the recall election is allowed to proceed.


The election is in question over the petition signatures gathered to recall Hightower. It's alleged the dates were changed on several of them to have the signatures collected within the 60-day window required by law. Berrien County Clerk Sharon Tyler certified 402 signatures, of which 393 were needed for force the recall. Police have investigated those signatures and have found issues on at least a dozen. Judge John Dewane says he will likely make a decision on whether the election will happen on Thursday after reviewing Tuesday's hearing testimony.


During Tuesday morning's hearing, ACLU attorney Mark Fancher argued that there is precedent to reverse an election's result if the petitions are later found to be invalid or the people charged with election violations are convicted. Hightower would rather not go down that road.


If the judge sides with the county clerk and issues a preliminary injunction and enough valid signatures are certified, the recall election would likely be rescheduled for November 4.


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