Q: What is the city’s policy on candidate endorsement? Can councilmembers and staff endorse candidates?
A: According to Gulfport’s personnel manual, city staff cannot “engage in political activity such as campaigning for any candidate while on duty, while representing the city or while wearing city uniforms or identification.” Furthermore, city employees can’t do anything “of a political nature that could interfere with their duty.”
City staff can engage in political activities when they’re not working, the manual says, as long as they don’t represent the city or any of its departments.
Essentially, that means that a city employee can have a sign in his or her yard but cannot put a sign in the back of their city vehicle.
The manual does not address whether or not elected officials can endorse candidates.
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