High court to finally hear city election lawsuit

Brannon challenging victory by Kennedy

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COEUR d'ALENE - Nearly three years removed from the election, and two years since its court ruling, the 2009 city election lawsuit will go before the Idaho Supreme Court on Wednesday.

It's scheduled to go before the high court's five-member body at 11:10 a.m. at the Kootenai County Courthouse.

The election challenge suit, filed by then-Seat 2 City Council challenger Jim Brannon, claimed that inadmissible ballots had led to incumbent Mike Kennedy's five-vote victory.

Brannon filed the suit shortly after the election day loss.

But litigation with the highly-publicized suit stretched over a year, ending when 1st District Judge Charles Hosack upheld the election following a six-day trial in September 2010.

Part of the ruling tossed out four illegal votes (one of which was for Brannon), trimming Kennedy's victory to three votes.

The trial was at times contentious, just as the campaign trail between the candidates had been leading up to the election, and several times Hosack stopped court arguments to advise counsels of proper behavior.

One of the remedies the suit sought was a new election for the seat, which was denied. After Hosack's decision, Brannon appealed to the state's highest court.

The Idaho Supreme Court will listen to 30 minutes of arguments from each side, and typically issues its ruling in written format weeks or months after hearing the case.

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