Stothert Wins Third Term in Omaha Municipal Election


Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert speaks during a news conference at the Douglas County Health Department in Omaha, July 31, 2020. Stothert won election to a third term as mayor of Omaha in a citywide election Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP)
By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert won a decisive victory in her quest for a third term in office.

Voters supported Stothert by a 2-1 margin in unofficial results Tuesday evening, as the incumbent Republican mayor easily defeated Democratic challenger RJ Neary.

Neary conceded the race by 9 p.m. Tuesday, and Stothert declared in her victory speech that she would be focused on continuing the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and making the city more inclusive and safe.

In her first two terms, which began with her first election to the post in 2013, Stothert has touted her administration’s improvement of city services, annexation of abutting neighborhoods and communities to grow the city’s population and tax base, and increased funding to increase the size of the city’s police force to 900 officers.

Stothert, 67, pushed through her campaign following the death of her husband of 40 years in March from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Her husband, Dr. Joseph Stothert, was a critical carephysician. Jean Stothert has said his death highlights the importance of health care workers getting mental health treatment, especially as they deal with the pressures of the pandemic.

Omaha City Council seats were also being decided in Tuesday’s election. The election counts for those seats will not be complete until Friday, when the Douglas County Election Commissioner’s office counts nearly 9,000 early-voting ballots that arrived Tuesday.

In District 1, Pete Festersen surpassed Sarah Johnson earning 8,212 votes to her 4,840 votes.

In District 2, Juanita Johnson’s 3,800 votes were leading over incumbent Ben Gray’s 2,990 votes.

In District 3, Danny Begley was ahead of Cammy Watkins. In the initial tally, Begley had 3,897 votes to Watkins’ 2,502.

In District 4, incumbent Vinny Palermo’s 3,897 votes was ahead of Becky Barrientos-Patlan’s 2,502.

In District 5, Don Rowe had 7,777 votes, leading over Patrick Leahy, who had 6,461 votes.

In District 6, Brinker Harding had a decisive 11,892 to 6,344 lead over Naomi Hattaway.

In District 7, a close race in early returns saw challenger Sara Kohen lose ground to incumbent Aimee Melton as more votes came in. The tally stood at 8,481 to 7,547 in Melton’s favor late Tuesday evening.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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