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Group Forms To Support Nifong Re-Election Bid

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DURHAM, N.C. — Locals have formed a group to support District Attorney Mike Nifong's re-election amid criticism of his handling of the Duke University lacrosse case.

Nifong faces a write-in challenger on the November ballot and a recall effort. Citizens for Mike Nifong Committee, organized by Kim Brummell, a corporate security officer and writer, and community activist Victoria Peterson, hopes to keep the incumbent in office.

Nifong said he had nothing to do with the formation of the group, which plans an organizational meeting Thursday.

"I was very pleased. It made me feel good," Nifong said.

Nifong acknowledged the widespread criticism he's faced, but he insisted that's been only part of the story.

"The great majority of the feedback I receive is very positive," Nifong said. "All of the sentiment in Durham is not to remove me from office. There are people who feel very strongly that I should remain. That's encouraging. It's a very positive response, and I'm grateful for it."

Brummell believes questions about apparent holes in Nifong's case against three white lacrosse players charged with raping a black stripper should be left up to a jury.

Steve Monks, chairman of the local chapter of the Republican Party, is running as an unaffiliated write-in candidate against Nifong.

Nifong also faces opposition from a group of voters called the "Committee to Recall Nifong -- Vote Cheek." It is urging people to vote for Lewis Cheek, a county commissioner who has said he would not serve even if elected. Cheek's name will appear on the November ballot because about 10,000 voters petitioned the Board of Elections to have it placed there.

A grand jury has indicted three players. Defense attorneys strongly have proclaimed the players' innocence.

A trial is expected next year.

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