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City lawyer: Best to delay election to replace Cromartie

Mar 10, 2010 10:16:00 AM - thestate.com
Columbia City Attorney Ken Gaines is recommending City Council hold a special election after April 6th to fill the unexpired term of Councilman E.W. Cromartie.

The State Election Commission told council members yesterday they had to schedule the election for April 6th in order to comply with state law.

But in an e-mail to council members obtained by The State, Gaines said state law would not apply "simply because of logistically not being able to get the names on the ballot."

"I would suggest that Council consider passing a resolution ordering a special election with the appropriate notice being given to 'insure that the will of the electorate is being fairly expressed,'" Gaines wrote in the e-mail. "This may be successfully challenged, but I think it is more defensible than the procedure which the election commission has proposed."

Mayor Bob Coble and Council members Tameika Isaac Devine and Sam Davis are on record saying they support an April 6 election. Council members Kirkman Finlay and Daniel Rickenmann are in favor of a special election after April 6th.