Group pushing for recall vote to oust Mayor Stothert

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- There is a push under way to oust Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert from office.

The group behind it is raising money and calling on volunteers to begin a recall of the mayor, now in her second term.

Omaha voters are no strangers to efforts to recall their mayor.

In a successful recall effort in 1987 voters removed Mayor Mike Boyle from office in the middle of his second term.

Petition drives failed in attempts to collect enough signatures for recalls Mayor Hal Daub and Mayor Mike Fahey.

Organizers got enough signatures to put a recall of Mayor Jim Suttle to a vote in 2011. Suttle survived by two percentage points and stayed in office.

Now Eric Scott and his group plan to push for the recall of Mayor Jean Stothert. Scott said it’s a serious effort.

“Our plan is definitely to have a recall petition in the hands of voters towards the end of June, early July.

Scott says one of the major reasons for the recall is the condition of city streets.

“We have a failing infrastructure that’s pretty blatant here in Omaha. You have potholes - that’s the big issue on tap right now. It’s not the only issue.”

Scott said Stothert ran for the mayor’s office on promises to repeal the restaurant tax implemented by then-mayor Jim Suttle. That tax is still in place.

Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse said getting enough signatures to start a recall petition is hard to do.

Kruse said, “They would need to collect 35 percent of the total number of votes that the mayor received in her last election in 2017. So that 35 percent equates to 34,818 valid signatures.”

Scott says this effort to recall the mayor is not wrapped in politics.

“This is not a blue versus red, this is an Omaha citizens concerned, citizens against what’s going on in the leadership of Omaha.”

Scott says they did hire consultants to help get the recall campaign off the ground.

Right now the mayor is not commenting. If there is eventually a petition taken out, the mayor will speak on the matter.