Mayor Carl Redus, Jr., currently the incumbent in the election, filed a lawsuit asking that the election be delayed until November 2014. In his filing, Redus' attorney cites a law from 1965 that affects when elections are held in cities with a population of less than 50,000. Pine Bluff falls into that category as of the 2010 Census.
Another mayoral candidate, Debe Hollingsworth, has filed her own motion to intervene so that the election can proceed as planned.
Secretary of State Mark Martin has also filed a motion to dismiss Redus' suit, as he and other state officials were named as defendants along with the Jefferson County Election Commission.
Nine candidates are vying for one mayor's seat: Carl A. Redus Jr., Clarence Davis, Debe Hollingsworth, Tim Whisenhunt, Thelma Walker, Steven Mays, John James Jr., Peter Daniels Jr. and Kent Broughton
"They were really more together that I thought they would be," said Pine Bluff resident Mary Jo McCord.
These mayoral hopefuls, addressing a packed house in Pine Bluff, filled with a tough crowd.
"Tonight would help eliminate some of those in there," said Patrick Lockett.
"It lets you know people are interested in they are concerned about their city and trying to get it back," said Carol Jackson.
The candidates, asked real questions, hitting on hard issues like crime, unemployment, economic development, and youth investment.
"I really feel like the questions gave a fair assessment of the issues our city is facing," Lockett said.
"I liked that all of them, since there are so many candidates, were able to give their answers and their opinions on the issues," Jackson agreed.
Pine Bluff Mayor Carl Redus, even put on the spot by a potential voter about his lawsuit to delay the Mayor's election. Redus filed a lawsuit in circuit court, requesting the election be delayed until 2014, citing a state law from 1965 that applies to cities with populations of less than 50,000 people.
"We must always follow the law," he told the crowd. "My question is why didn't the Election Commission follow the law sooner. A judge will address that Tuesday. That's my take on it."
Those sitting in the rows of seats, seemingly not satisfied with his explanation.
"They wanted more they wanted to know his reasoning behind it," Lockett said.
"You could tell the murmurs in the crowd they were not satisfied," McCord agreed.
"Right now the ball is in his [Redus'] court and he can hold on to it and dribble it, and we're trying to take it away," Jackson laughed.
While the crowd may not agree with every answer, and the time ran out before every question could be asked, the turnout tells some there's still time for a city in crisis to make a turnaround.
"People do care about Pine Bluff. This is their home, and they want it to be a good place to live ," McCord said.
A specially-appointed judge will preside over the Redus suit , and a hearing is slated for Tuesday, September 18, 2012.