Biloxi election: ‘Mud’ flies as votes eyed for May 12 runoff

BILOXI — With 12 days until the runoff election for Biloxi mayor, the gloves came off, the “mud” flew and candidates Andrew “FoFo” Gilich and Winfield “Windy” Swetman III looked at bringing to their side the 3,700 voters who’d backed the other contenders.

What had been a relatively clean election for mayor in Biloxi turned decidedly negative Thursday with an Internet posting of an excerpt from the book “Mississippi Mud” and insinuations candidate Gilich was involved in the controversy.

Gilich immediately posted a response on his web page and later said given the accusations, he won’t participate in any debates or candidate forums with Swetman.

“The fact that supporters of my opponent have now degraded themselves — and the integrity of the runoff election — with personal attacks and false insinuations that had nothing to do with me, makes it impossible to expect a fair public exchange between candidates,” Gilich said in a statement. “I am very disappointed.”

Swetman denied any involvement in a statement and said he doesn’t condone personal attacks or negative campaigning.