‘We do not specifically endorse any candidate,’ City of Conway says after Democratic presidential hopeful given key to the city

Grand Strand

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The City of Conway released a statement Thursday regarding endorsements, two days after Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was given the key to the city.

Buttigieg was presented with the key by Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy.

“I’ve given out a great number of keys to the city in my day, but rarely do I receive one, so thank you for that great honor,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg introduced his “Resilient Communities: A New Disaster Preparedness Approach” during his appearance.

On Thursday, the City of Conway released a statement that said, in part:

Although this campaign stop was in the City of Conway, the City and its elected officials make no official endorsement of any candidate for any political office. Politics are a very emotional issue and some may have seen his stop and introduction by the Mayor as such an endorsement. While we welcome all candidates to visit us here in our great City to participate in the democratic process, we do not specifically endorse any candidate.

City of Conway

News13 reached out to a spokesperson with the City of Conway as well as Mayor Blain-Bellamy to ask if other political visitors have been given the key to the city previously, and if others in the future will receive that as well.

“The post was made in reaction to the abundance of negative comments on social media about our hospitality and welcoming a candidate. We wanted to let it be known that will welcome any political candidate to use our beautiful city as a backdrop and we will extend every courtesy,” said Taylor Newell, with the City of Conway.

“There’s no confusion. A mayor from another city, an honored guest, visited Conway . I thought it appropriate to hand him a key to the city. I anticipate doing so whenever a high official or other person of esteem stops in,” Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy told News13. “It is unfortunate that some of us are offended when we welcome people of other races, political persuasions, sexual orientation, and the like. I, personally, do not make judgments based on those things. I thought we were beyond that.”

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