Mayoral challenge hearing set for Feb.
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By Scott Smith
Record Staff Writer
October 16, 2012 12:00 AM
STOCKTON - A judge on Monday set a Feb. 1 hearing for Ralph Lee White, a former mayoral candidate, to challenge the validity of incumbent Mayor Ann Johnston's quest for a second term.
The hearing date, set by San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Lesley Holland, falls three months after the Nov. 6 election, upending White's attempt to scuttle Johnston's candidacy.
Johnston seeks a second term as mayor against challenger Anthony Silva.
White said he will seek a special election - filing a new suit, if necessary - in the scenario that Johnston is re-elected and then White succeeds in court at invalidating her career in city government.
"I did not write the charter. The people voted on it," White said defending him against critics, such as Johnston, who accuse him of needlessly distracting City Hall from genuine challenges.
"It's like saying, 'There goes Ralph Lee White complaining about his constitutional rights,' " said White, comparing the city charter to Stockton's constitution. "You must uphold the constitution, whether you like it or not."
White, a property investor, bail bondsman and former councilman, launched his charge against Johnston and the city earlier this year based on his interpretation of Section 606 of the city charter, which says:
"No person elected as either Mayor or Councilmember shall be eligible to serve, or serve, as either Mayor or Councilmember for more than two (2) terms ..."