ELECTION 2021: Omaha voters hand Mayor Stothert a landslide victory in the primary

Some council races remain close
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 3:45 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s full steam ahead for Mayor Jean Stothert after Tuesday night’s primary election showed her winning by what her campaign called a landslide victory.

Stothert started the evening with a commanding lead in the preliminary results released shortly after the polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday. The victory sets her up to make city history once again by moving one step closer to winning a third term.

According to results posted late Tuesday, RJ Neary appears poised to take on the mayor in the general election in May, earning 15% of votes in early postings. Jasmine Harris wasn’t far behind with 13% of votes; Kimara Snipes and Mark Gudgel had 8% and 5% respectively.

In City Council races across Omaha, results were tight in a few districts. All seven seats are up, with the top two candidates moving on to the May election.

In Dist. 1, incumbent Pete Festersen was winning 56% of the vote, with Sarah Johnson taking 23%, Tyeisha Kosmicki at 15%, and Paul Anderson at 6%.

In Dist. 2, sitting Councilman Ben Gray was leading with 40% of votes. Two challengers were in a close race for second, with Juanita Johnson winning 22% of votes and Jonathan C. Lathan taking 21%. Controversial candidate David Mitchell had 8% of the district’s early votes, with Steven Abraham showing 5%.

In Dist. 3, four candidates were battling to replace Councilman Chris Jerram, who did not run for re-election. Leading the pack was Danny Begley at 40% of the vote, with Cammy Watkins at 35% in early counts. Gilbert Ayala had 13% of votes, followed closely behind by Jen Bauer at 12%.

In Dist. 4, incumbent Vinny Palermo was solidly ahead, with 48% of votes. Becky Barrientos-Patlan was second with 23% of votes so far. Sarah Smolen and Ben Casse both were showing 14%.

In Dist. 5, vacated by Rich Pahls when voters sent him to the Unicameral in November, five candidates are vying for this council seat, and it’s a fairly close race. Don Rowe was leading with 21%, followed by Kathleen R. Kauth and Patrick Leahy, each with 19%. Jeff Moore and Colleen Brennan were tied in third place with 13%.

In Dist. 6, incumbent Brinker Harding appeared poised to hang on to his council seat, with 64% of the vote. Challenger Naomi Hattaway was trailing at 36% in early returns.

In Dist. 7, the race between incumbent Aimee Melton and challenger Sara Kohen was split nearly in half when the first results were posted. By the end of the night, Melton was ahead 52% to 48%.

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