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Court appoints judge to hear election contest in Hub City

HATTIESBURG — The Mississippi Supreme Court has appointed William F. Coleman as special judge in Forrest County Circuit Court to hear the election contest filed by Hattiesburg mayoral candidate Dave Ware.

Coleman, a former Hinds County circuit judge, takes over for Forrest County Circuit Judge Robert Helfrich, who recused himself because of his close proximity to the election.

The Hattiesburg American reports the Supreme Court also will appoint a special judge for Lamar County for the same reason.

Ware requested an expedited hearing on Monday for his petition, which alleges numerous instances of illegally cast and counted votes that swayed the election in favor of incumbent mayor Johnny DuPree.

Ware lost by 37 votes in the June 4 election, according to the certified election results.

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