KFAB News Guide to the Omaha Mayoral Race
(Omaha, NE) – Polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow in highly competitive mayoral elections. Here are the candidates running to run our city.
Jean Stothert is the incumbent mayor who is running for a third term. She was a nurse and nursing director who served on the Millard School Board and Omaha City Council before she was elected mayor in 2013. She works on a platform focused on public safety promoting her police expansion and working on reforming the department. Stothert has released a pandemic recovery strategy to expand police recruitment and ensure an equitable distribution of government aid. Stothert has earned the recognition of the Omaha Police Union. Find out more about their campaign at jeanstothert.com.
RJ Neary is chairman of Investors Realty, a real estate brokerage company based in southwest Omaha. He is a former member of the City Planning Department and says his experience has enabled him to handle Omaha’s homelessness crisis. Neary’s “Path to the Future” plan includes improving basic urban services such as road repairs and garbage, as well as major reforms related to sustainability, transport and racial justice. He was supported by former Mayors Mike Fahey and Jim Suttle and former US Senator Bob Kerrey. He has also received support from the Omaha Federation of Labor and the Nebraska Sierra Club. Learn more about his campaign on nearyforomaha.com.
Kimara Snipes has been on the board of directors of Omaha Public Schools since 2017. She manages partnerships for the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table and leads the South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance. Snipes is touting as the only candidate uniquely positioned to unite the city and improve disparities in city services and address community concerns about police reform. Snipes was endorsed by Congressional candidates Kara Eastman and Ann Ashford, former Congressman Brad Ashford, and former US Senator Ben Nelson. Find out more about their campaign on kimarasnipes.com.
Jasmine Harris is the director of public order and advocacy for RISE Omaha, a nonprofit that helps convicted inmates who have served their time re-enter society. Their campaign focused on better management of the COVID-19 pandemic, stepping up reforms to the Omaha police force, and more equitable and sustainable transportation options. She has also called for a greater focus on basic urban services such as road repairs, garbage and snow removal. Former mayoral candidate Dawaune Lamont Hayes, who did not qualify to vote, has approved of Harris. Find out more about their campaign on voteforjasmine.com.
Mark Gudgel is an English teacher at Omaha North High School. He has focused his campaign on reversing the brain drain in Omaha by guaranteeing each Omaha student up to $ 8,000 of tuition for business schools and colleges. Gudgel also said the city needs to do more to combat climate change and that his government would guarantee carbon neutrality by 2045. His campaign came under fire for controversial ties to a Twitch streamer calling on armed militias to crack down on Black Lives protesters earlier this summer. Learn more about his campaign on gudgelformayor.com.
All five candidates will vote in the same election, and the top two candidates will vote in a general election on May 11th.
(Photos courtesy of WOWT-TV 6 News.)