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Omaha Mayor Stothert focusing re-election campaign on ‘human issues’

Jean Stothert says voters want functional — and improved — city services
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 7:21 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - If re-elected, Jean Stothert would become Omaha’s most longest-serving mayor in modern history.

Eight years ago, she became the first woman to lead the city.

The last year has perhaps been the most challenging, managing the budget of the nation’s 41st largest city during a pandemic.

“I talked about my four main goals from the beginning still are: public safety, managing the city budget carefully, job creation, and economic development. The taxpayer experience — that’s what I’ve been focused on and made improvements in all four areas. And now I’ve added a fifth: pandemic recovery,” she said.

The issues of picking up the trash and fixing the streets have sometimes doomed a mayor’s bid at reelection. Stothert says she’s not worried about that happening, especially after voters approved $200 million in bonds for roads.

“We came up with a permanent solution; the voters overwhelmingly approved it,” Stothert said. “We’re going to be able to resurface twice as many streets as in the past. We added 59 road projects that are a direct result of the bond issue. People are going to see road construction everywhere and that we’re fixing it permanently and not just wasting taxpayer dollars just fixing potholes.”

While the race for Omaha mayor is non-partisan, Jean Stothert is the only Republican in the race, facing four Democrat challengers. She believes many voters don’t see it that way; they just want parks in good condition, the trash picked up, potholes fixed — that sort of thing.

“Those aren’t Democrat or Republican issues, those are human issues. Those are making people’s lives every day better in Omaha, and I can deliver on that.”

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Omaha mayoral candidates
Mark Gudgel

“When I talk to my high school seniors, they don’t tell me they aren’t smart enough to go to college — they know they are. It’s that they’re afraid of debt. They’ve seen what debt can do to people. And they don’t want that — and I can respect that.”

Omaha mayoral candidate Mark Gudgel
Jasmine Harris

“Change is always uncomfortable. But in order for everyone to have an Omaha that’s going to work, we need to open up the uncomfortableness and start digging into how we can create change and make it better for everyone regardless of their ZIP code."

Candidate for Omaha Mayor: Jasmine Harris-6:30 p.m.
RJ Neary

“I asked people what they would like changed in the City of Omaha, and it was ‘a less segregated and equitable city.’ Almost every door.”

Candidate for Omaha Mayor: RJ Neary-6:30 p.m.
Kimara Snipes

“It’s about being connected to community, understanding what the community wants, and having the integrity to do the right thing, even though it’s tough.”

Omaha mayoral candidate Kimara Snipes