LITTLE ROCK — The state Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal of a Jefferson County circuit judge’s ruling that the next Pine Bluff mayoral election will be in 2016.

LITTLE ROCK — The state Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal of a Jefferson County circuit judge’s ruling that the next Pine Bluff mayoral election will be in 2016.


The state’s highest court said the issue is moot because it is too late for a ruling to have any impact on the current election cycle. Early voting for the Nov. 4 general election began Monday.


Debe Hollingsworth was elected Pine Bluff mayor in November 2012. She defeated then-incumbent Carl A. Redus Jr., who had unsuccessfully sought a judge’s order halting the election on the argument that because Pine Bluff’s population had fallen below 50,000, it was required under Arkansas law to hold mayoral elections in mid-term years. Redus’ request was denied in an Oct. 5, 2012, ruling.


In December 2012, the Pine Bluff City Council passed a resolution stating that municipal offices would become partisan and primary elections would be held starting in 2014. Redus later filed to run for mayor, Lloyd Franklin Sr. filed to run for city treasurer and City Clerk Loretta Whitfield filed to run for re-election.


Hollingsworth filed a lawsuit seeking an order that mayoral elections and other municipal offices on the same past cycle would not be held again until 2016, and a circuit judge granted her request in April of this year, finding that the matter had already been decided in the Oct, 5, 2012, ruling.


The Jefferson County Election Commission appealed the April ruling. In its unanimous ruling Thursday dismissing the appeal, the Supreme Court said Redus, Franklin and Whitfield were not certified for the ballot, so no ruling the court could make could affect the Nov. 4 election.


"As a general rule, the appellate courts of this state will not review issues that are moot because to do so would be to render an advisory opinion, which this court will not do," Justice Donald Corbin wrote in the opinion.


Hollingsworth said Thursday she was "excited" and "relieved" that the court ruled in her favor.


"We just really didn’t think that they would come back against the two (circuit) judges’ rulings," she said, adding that she was "glad it’s behind us."


Jackie Harris, attorney for the Jefferson County Election Commission, did not immediately return a call Thursday seeking comment.