Benton Harbor commissioner announces his candidacy for mayor - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Benton Harbor commissioner announces his candidacy for mayor

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The Mayor of Benton Harbor now has someone officially challenging him for his job. Last week, we told you about a recall petition to get him out of office. 

On Wednesday, a city commissioner announced he'll run against Hightower in the upcoming special election. It's Commissioner Marcus Muhammad

Outside the City Municipal building he announced, "I - Marcus Muhammad - am declaring my candidacy for the May 6th special election to become the next mayor of Benton Harbor."

That announcement was followed by cheers and applause.  Then Muhammad and the crowd marched into the City Clerk's office.  There, Muhammad handed in his paperwork to officially file as a candidate for mayor.

Muhammad will now face Mayor James Hightower in the May 6th special election.  Hightower will have to run to keep his job after Rev Edward Pinkney filed a recall petition to get Hightower out of office.  On Wednesday, Pinkney said, "He has no ideas and we knew we had to bring someone in who has ideas."

Pinkney said he's pleased Muhammad decided to step up to try and beat Hightower. "That was his decision alone. We're happy that a man of this caliber will be running."

Several people seem happy with the idea of Muhammad as the new mayor.  Other commissioners, a former Benton Harbor Mayor and a Benton Harbor Area Schools student representative all spoke in favor of Muhammad.  "He doesn't speak politically correct all the time he tells you the truth," said Charles Jennings.  He said he was showing his support on behalf of the students at Benton Harbor High School.  "He's in touch and in tune with our city moving forward as it relates to youth."

Muhammad said he's the guy for the job. "I think that I can bring people together."

Muhammad also said that if elected, his first 100 days in office will be spent bridging the divide between residents and their own government.  He also added that as the Mayor of Benton Harbor, he will redirect the city to "economic prosperity, safe neighborhoods, unity, local control, quality services, job growth, youth activities and summer employment."

We did reach out to Mayor James Hightower Wednesday to get his take on all of this, but he never returned our call.

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