Gulfport Council Candidate Endorsements

Q: Are elected officials allowed to endorse candidates? For example, can a Gulfport councilperson endorse a candidate for another Gulfport council seat?

A: After much discussion between City Attorney Andy Salzman and City Clerk Lesley DeMuth, City Manager Jim O’Reilly told us that the city itself “has no prohibitions in regards to an elected official as a private individual endorsing a candidate” but that a city councilmember is not allowed to endorse a candidate on behalf of the city or the council. This means that councilmembers may support candidates but cannot say the council or the city supports a certain candidate.