BENTON HARBOR — Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad and city Commissioner Ron Singleton will move on to the November election for the mayor’s seat.
They were the two top vote-getters in Tuesday’s six-way mayoral primary race. According to unofficial results, Muhammad received 393 votes (58 percent) and Singleton got 211 votes (31 percent). There were 681 votes cast.
Among the challengers, Commissioner Juanita Henry received 31 votes, Commissioner C.F. Jone got 16 votes, Marjorie Carter brought in 15 votes and Jamie Davis ended up with 11.
Muhammad said he is humbled that voters are giving him the opportunity to possibly lead the city for another four years.
“I will continue to listen to the needs and the desires of the residents as it relates to what they think is best for the city of Benton Harbor,” he said Tuesday evening when contacted about the results.
As the incumbent, he said he had to continue moving the city forward while campaigning, which can be difficult.
Singleton said it feels great to still be in the running and will continue to push his movement, which is emphasizing rebuilding the neighborhoods “from the inside out.”
“For so long, the neighborhoods have been neglected,” he said. “(Residents) have been real patient watching everything else be built up. It’s time for something to happen in the neighborhoods.”
He said when the neighborhoods are built up, property values will rise, jobs will be created and people will be able to move into the middle class.
Muhammad is seeking his second term as mayor. He was first elected to a city commission seat in 2009 and re-elected in 2013. He was elected mayor in November 2015.
Singleton was appointed as a city commissioner in January 2016 to fill the seat vacated by Muhammad when he became mayor. Singleton was elected to the seat in 2017.
Also on the November ballot will be a three-way race for two commissioner-at-large seats. City Commissioners MaryAlice Adams and Edward Isom will face challenger Jennifer Nesbitt.
Running unopposed is 1st Ward Commissioner Sharon Henderson.
Newcomer Jerry Edwards is the only person running for the 2nd Ward seat since Jones, the incumbent, ran for mayor.
Tuesday was the first election in Benton Harbor since the Promote the Vote state constitutional amendment was approved, which allows same day voter registration and voting.
City Clerk Kimberly Thompson said four people came to her office to register to vote on Tuesday.
Contact: lwrege@TheHP.com, 932-0361, Twitter: @HPWrege