In this paper, we investigate the endorsement strategies of municipal council members in Russia. Since 2012, the candidates for chief executive office are required to collect the signatures at the local level. Filtering had been an important political toll before the return of direct gubernatorial elections, however, for the latter there are specific requirements in terms of territorial quotas and coverage that can be used against the independent candidates. We theorize that partisanship, gender, and employment sector on individual level and political competition, population size, and budget autonomy on the municipality level are important in shaping the councilmembers’ decision. We test this theory against the data on 2020 Perm krai gubernatorial elections and find out that while the general pattern is largely in line with our expectations, there are nuances when it comes to supporting particular opposition candidates. This study contributes to the literature on electoral authoritarianism and subnational elections in Russia and to the general scholarship on the means of authoritarian control.