No one has officially filed, but there are quite a few people who have let their intentions be known. The number of candidates wanting to run for mayor of Omaha grew by one more on Thursday.
Voters might need a program to tell the mayoral candidates apart. Challengers to Mayor Suttle in 2013 are stepping up to the plate with the same message of change and the field is beginning to get crowded.
“We need a mayor with the knowledge, experience, independence and leadership necessary to join a long and distinguished list of men,” said City Councilwoman Jean Stothert, drawing laughter from the audience. Stothert wants to become Omaha’s first woman mayor, but she didn't fly the gender flag. She did talk about change.
“I think there is a real feeling in Omaha that we need new leadership, new leadership the people can trust, leadership that keeps their promises. I think the people of Omaha all feel pretty detached right now from what is going on in city government.”
There is lots of talk about change, a change in City Hall and there are a lot of people who say they want to lead that change. Dan Welch was once president of the City Council and now he wants to be mayor.
“They watched this administration for the last three years and gave them a chance. They think the administration is nibbling around the edges with regard to large problems in the city and they think the city could do better."
Omaha businessman Dave Nabity also believes he can do better. “I think Omaha is ready for a new era of leadership and I'm excited to try to step in and do what I can to help."
Including Mayor Suttle, there are at least five candidates who say they want to be mayor, all starting their campaigns early. Candidates cannot officially file for office until December 1st. Omaha's mayoral primary will be held April 2nd of next year. The top two finishers move on to the general election in May.