Southaven mayoral candidate suing city over campaign signs

Southaven mayoral candidate suing city over campaign signs

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Southaven mayoral candidate Tommy Henley filed a federal lawsuit against the city and its planning director Whitney Choat-Cook.

Henley's lawsuit alleges the city's sign ordinance is unconstitutional content-based regulation of speech.

Henley said he has tried to comply with the city's ordinance to post his campaign signs, but has been repeatedly denied permission by the city.

"Political speech is entitled to the greatest protection under the First Amendment, but the City and its sign ordinance has instead subjected our signs to the heaviest burdens in what looks like a concerted effort to stop us from getting our message out," Henley said. "It is unfortunate that it took such a lawsuit to get the city to fix a problem they have known about since 2014."

The lawsuit alleges the city has continued to change the rules whenever Henley asked for a permit. Under the current ordinance, candidates cannot post their signs until 45 days before the election, or March 18.

Henley's campaign manager said the city raised the price of the signs from $25 to $64 each and Henley hopes for a restraining order. She said Henley and several residents have displayed signs for the campaign, "because it's their constitutional right."

Henley posted the following message to Facebook:

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