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Talking OMAHA politics |

OK lovers of local politics. Here is a break from the the throbbing pulse of information and spin on the Presidential front.

We are only 10 months out from the Omaha Mayor and City Council primaries! (293 days, to be exact.)

So, after a little digging around, Leavenworth St. has put together an (incomplete!) list of possible candidates for those primaries.

Without much additional input, here ya go:

Mayor Jean Stothert
Heath Mello
R.J. Neary

Mayor Stothert is running for re-election, and as of 12/31/15 had Cash on Hand of $593K.

We hear various versions of “Mello is definitely running” to “Mello is thinking about running.” He did some polling, and is still likely kicking the tires, as he wouldn’t walk into a buzzsaw if he saw it coming.

That being said, he has $233K COH.

Just heard the name of R.J. Neary, and that’s about it. Leavenworth St. has also heard that there are few other prominent Democrats interested.

District 1
Pete Festersen
No one else

Festersen will likely run, but some say he could find that he is too busy with other things.

District 2
Ben Gray
Nobody else.

District 3
Chris Jerram.
Jim Vokal

Jerram, Council Vice President, recently had to serve as acting Mayor. No word on whether or not he had t-shirts made up to celebrate the occasion.

Vokal? His name has been bandied about recently. Wouldn’t be completely unexpected.

District 4
Gary Gernandt
Heath Mello

Very unlikely that these two would run against each other. Some have said that Mello will wait until the last minute financially possible to decide to run, or not, for Mayor. The CW goes that if he decides no, Gernandt will drop out, and Mello will run for Council — effectively icing out any other challengers.

Dstrict 5
Rich Pahls
Dave Nabity

Haven’t heard much about Pahls except assumptions that he is running, but not really raising money ($11K COH at 12/31/16).

Leavenworth St. has heard from several sources that Nabity is thinking about it.

District 6
Franklin Thompson
Brinker Harding
Mike Pate

Franklin Thompson has said publicly that he probably is NOT running — and some put him running at somewhere around 20% probability. Could go either way.

Leavenworth St. has heard from several sources that Harding (real estate executive, former Hal Daub aide and Chairman of the Omaha Planning Board) is very probable.

Millard School Board member Mike Pate is said to be thinking about it, or otherwise possible.

District 7
Aimee Melton
Nobody else.

Have some insights or thoughts?
You know what to do.

(And for private thoughts, you can email at LeavenworthSt at Gmail-dot-com.)

Time for Deep Presidential Thoughts

There is a very interesting read of an interview with three top Republican candidate advisors.

A Huffington Post reporter sits down with Jeb Bush’s chief, Ted Cruz’s chief, and Marco Rubio’s communications director. They give a candid review of where they failed, what they should have done, and where they see things going this summer and fall.

Ted Cruz’s manager, Jeff Roe, who is described as, “one of the sharpest minds in Republican politics, the next Karl Rove,” said this about how the ultimate state-by-state battle may end up (when asked about a Hillary VP choice):

I believe in base elections, and I believe in turnout. I believe that this election will be condensed into seven to 10 states and the actual number of people who still need to make up their mind is very small.

We chase these people relentlessly. In actuality, though, if you’re trying to get another 10,000 votes in Loudoun County, Virginia, I think you can find those 10,000 votes more easily with people who already believe in you but aren’t likely to vote than you are by getting undecideds to vote for you.

So I fear Democrats running a base campaign, directed toward liberals, maximizing that vote, and electing a devastating ticket. But if her philosophy is based on capturing the ever-shrinking middle, then she should do Tim Kaine.

One thing that’s telling about this, is that he doesn’t talk about how Trump would or could turn those 10,000 votes in Loudoun County (think a highly populated Elkhorn-type area). The thought by many is that Trump doesn’t have the organization to get those non-likely to actually turn out.

That being said, Roe also think Trump could win:

There are 120 days until early voting, 153 days until Election Day. The ground game—a good organization—gets you anywhere between 2.5 and 5.5 points, and if he’s giving all that away, that’s a problem. But I think he can win. I can see a Trump victory. I can see a Clinton blowout. And I think we’ll end up somewhere between.

If you like this kind of stuff, it’s a fairly candid view of the election so far from those in it up to their eyeballs.


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