Mayoral race close, hard fought

May 10, 2017

Paul Landow, Professor in the Political Science Department at UNO, says the mayoral race was a close, hard fought election.

Incumbent Mayor Jean Stothert beat former Senator Heath Mello 53% to 46%.  Landow says this is a tough town for Democrats and always has been. 

But he says it’s not impossible for a Democrat to win.  It just takes the right combination of candidate and campaign. 

Landow says the state democratic party made a critical error bringing Senator Bernie Sanders to Omaha to endorse Mello. 

He says Sanders has nothing in common with the shared political and social values of most Omahans. 

Ultimately, Landow says bringing a liberal senator into a moderate town to support a moderate mayoral candidate didn’t work.  Here he talks about what’s ahead for Mayor Stothert. 

"The mayor said she is going to continue her agenda which has been, in her words, to fight crime by putting more cops on the street.  And by working on the streets situation.  And also I think probably now you’ll see that the streetcar regains the momentum it seems to have had before the election.”

Landow says there was a higher voter turnout than expected.  Turnout was projected at 31% and ended up at 34%.  He says most of the increased turnout was in west Omaha which Mayor Stothert won.