ELECTION 2021: There will be a newcomer for Omaha City Council District 5

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 7:37 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Early ballots are starting to show up for the upcoming general election. Voters will be deciding the next mayor and seven city councilmembers.

There are two races without an incumbent.

When Rich Pahls left the city council for the Nebraska Legislature, councilmembers selected his temporary replacement to fill the seat. Their pick didn’t make it out of the primary.

Don Rowe is a longtime executive in the lumber industry and a political newcomer.

“My whole career has been to find win-win solutions to problems. I think I can contribute in that way,” said Rowe.

Patrick Leahy is an architect.

“The skills I have as a businessman and architect set me up for this. I’m well suited for this. It’s a great city and I want to make it better,” said Leahy.

Just 74 votes separated the two in a crowded field earlier this month. Patrick Leahy spent 10 years on the Metropolitan Community College Board.

“Being on an 11-member board at the community college and this one has seven. That’s fewer people to call to get on the same page. So I can hit the ground running on that,” said Leahy.

“I’m a fan of the mayor and the city council. I think things have gone well considering what we’ve been through, the pandemic and unrest. I feel we have momentum built up. I want to continue that,” said Rowe.

Both men believe their life experiences have set them up for success in managing issues that affect our day-to-day lives.

“We’re doing strategic planning, budgeting, preparing financials, balance sheets, I come from the business side,” said Rowe.

“My experience as a businessman and fiscal conservative and architect, I can help articulate the people’s vision and make sure to watch the details so we can get it done,” said Leahy.

District 5 will have someone new representing voters. The Douglas County Election Commissioner sent out more than 78,000 ballots to voters yesterday.

Friday is the deadline to register to vote and request an early ballot.

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