Election Special: Southport Mayoral Candidate Heather Newport
WISH-TV Political Reporter Garrett Bergquist sits down with Heather Newport,a member of the Southport redevelopment commission and Independent candidate for mayor.
Newport is one of 21 people across the state running for mayor as an independent. She said she chose to do so because it best reflects her political views, which don’t neatly fit either of the major parties. She also said she believes a mayor should represent the views of all of a city’s residents, not just those of one party.
Newport has called for city leaders to develop a community-first mindset. Asked what she means by that, she said she believes the city’s current leaders cater too much to one subset of Southport’s population. She said she wants to improve diversity on the city’s boards and commissions, such as drawing more participation from its Burmese community.
Newport said growing Southport’s economy is vital to supporting other services, especially its police force. As an example, she pointed to the her work, along with the other members of the redevelopment commission, to bring an apartment complex to a vacant lot. The building is expected to include retail space.
As for the police department itself, Newport said she would not support getting rid of it and turning its duties over to IMPD. She said Southport’s police chief does an excellent job of working with not only the city’s residents but also surrounding law enforcement agencies to keep the city safe.
Early voting begins on Oct. 11. Election Day is Nov. 7.