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GOP in exile: 16 years without winning Omaha mayor’s race

By   /   March 15, 2013  /   21 Comments

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

OMAHA—One look at the city’s latest voter registration numbers speaks volumes.

There are 15,000 more Democrats than Republicans, meaning Democrat Mayor Jim Suttle—the only Democrat in the five-way race— has a built-in reelection edge.

In addition according to Nebraska Watchdog’s analysis (see video special here) of several recent campaigns and interviews with top officials in both parties this is Suttle’s race to lose.

2010 1

Just take a look at the top three races from last November, beginning with the White House.

President Obama lost the 2nd Congressional District to Mitt Romney 52-48 that’s 11,000 votes.

But in the city of Omaha it was Obama winning by 3,000 votes, 51-49.

In the Senate race Democrat Bob Kerrey lost the 2nd District by 3,000 votes, 51-49, to Republican Deb Fischer.

But Kerrey won the city of Omaha 55-45, that’s a 10,000 vote margin.

And in the Omaha House race Congressman Lee Terry was just re-elected to his 2nd District seat by two points.

No thanks though to Omaha where voters overwhelmingly backed Democrat John Ewing 55-45, an 11,000 vote edge.

Yes, Terry knows the Omaha vote inside out.

Nebraska Watchdog: This is still a Democratic town. If you’re the Democratic mayor that’s got to make you feel good right?

Lee Terry: Yea. If you’re a Democratic mayor looking at the city of Omaha it works to the Democratic mayor or candidate advantage. Democrats—that’s why Suttle’s there—Democratic city.

Nebraska Watchdog: So it’s still in some respects a Democrat’s world to lose in the city of Omaha.

Lee Terry: Yes.

Good news for the mayor with one major exception: traditionally Democratic South Omaha.

In 2009 Suttle routed Hal Daub in South Omaha 60-40, that’s 1,082 votes.

But during the 2011 recall South Omaha turned on Suttle and he lost 54-46, lost by 512 votes.

Many Democrats find it unlikely Suttle can win re-election without South Omaha. During his recent State of the City Address, Suttle noted one new South Omaha perk.

“We will be reallocating existing resources and using grant money to add a gang specialist in South Omaha,” said Suttle.

The Suttle campaign believes its turning things around down here, but at the same time sources close to the mayor tell Nebraska Watchdog they are “concerned.”

Nebraska Watchdog: During the recall vote South Omaha, a traditional Democratic area, did not vote in your favor. How do you get that vote back?

Mayor Jim Suttle: Well I think we already have things in place but you know I’m no different that Bo Pelini. He’s not going to tell you his offensive plan on Saturday or his defensive plan. You’ll have to wait and see the results of our effort come Election Day.

If Suttle’s strategy backfires, he’ll be the first Democrat to lose the mayor’s race in 16 years.

Contact Joe Jordan at [email protected]

To subscribe to news updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no charge, click here






Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • Joan

    Lee Terry and Deb Fischer did not win their respective positions in politics because they are Republicans, their votes were purchased by the Koch brothers. Both are an embarassment to Nebraska.

  • Hunyock

    Um, Hal Daub was Mayor until 2001. I think the title should be changed to 12 years. I will take this as a good omen that they are looking into the future and Suttle won reelection.

  • Bronco Bama

    Anyone who did not vote for Lee Terry or Deb Fischer is an embarrassment to Nebraska. I really hope Suttle’s arrogant stance on gun control that he started his TV ad barrage with turns off common sense Democrats on cusp.

  • John

    But elected in ’97. So Joe’s headline is accurate.

  • ToucheTurtle

    How disrespectful you are towards those who actually cast their votes for them!!! No one I know claims that progressives were bought and paid for by the POTHUS, but maybe they should have! After all he has unfettered power to break all the laws he wants to do whatever he chooses without any serious repercussions from the American people . . . . YET!!!

    Are you actually saying that the majority of those who voted for these two were paid to do so by the Koch brothers! You might be amazed to know that, outside of Omaha, very few people probably even know who the “Koch brothers” are!!!! It would appear that you are giving the brothers way too much credit!!!

  • Paul Fisher

    In your dreams Joan…….. They won because everyone that lives outside of the city limits of Omaha knows who the best people are to vote for.
    I wouldn’t be so proud of living in a Democratic cesspool because Omaha will end up Like Detroit and Chicago before long. When the Democrats keep adding giveaways to those who won’t work and buying their votes its going to happen.

    Look around you Joan, every city that have Democratic mayors for more than 20 years are a disaster and Omaha will be no different. You will be living in a bankrupt war zone before you know it.

  • ToucheTurtle

    Many who did not vote for Lee or Deb are no doubt progressive transplants who are ONLY here because their job requires them to be here. I suppose the kindest thing we could do is eliminate those nasty inconsiderate jobs so they feel free to go back where they came from!!! And perhaps we can make sure the door doesn’t hit them in the tush as they are departing our fair State!

  • country banker

    Agree with P.F.. Suttle will win, but Omaha will lose. DETROIT, GM. United Airlines, State of California, Chicago….results of progressive Democrats and their big government and public union support. What do you think JG?

  • jason3

    Hey Bronco, fischer and Terry are an embarrasssment to Nebraska…fischer gains millions with her leasing fed lands…why don’t you call her and ask when she will use her position to correct this?

  • Buzz

    s Joan the only one that knows the real truth.

  • Hunyock

    Funny that Omaha was just named the number one city that dealt with the current recession just a couple of weeks ago. WallSt 24/7 name the city the 16th best managed city just a month ago. Mayor Suttle’s business sense had a lot to do with how well the city has been doing.
    We were also named the most affordable city in the US by Forbes magazine just a year ago. We seem to be on some “Best City for” list every week now. This shoots your whole theory out the window.

  • Paul Fisher

    Time will tell Hunyock! Good name for a liberal by the way! 🙂

  • Paul Fisher

    Hey jason,
    Anyone can lease government land to graze cattle on. Its the only thing the land is good for. Even you could jason IF you had the money to buy the cattle to put on it and if you could pay the lease payments.

  • Goblin Shark

    You got it backwards, whoever DID vote for those candidates are the embarrassments!

  • Goblin Shark

    Country bankers LOL

  • Joan

    It is sad that you are so blind. Omaha is a wonderful city that I moved my family to fifty years ago. My children went to college here and now have six figure jobs. Judging from your post you are a bitter not so well off pessimist. Your statistics are distorted also.

  • Paul Fisher

    What is really sad Joan is your reply. It is a typical liberal response. When they feel like they are losing the discussion they sink to the depths of personal attacks. Does it make you feel victorious to attack someone on a personal level?
    By the time Mayor Settles gets done raising taxes and spending your taxpayer dollars, raising public sector wages and retirements, your children’s 6 figure jobs will be on the bottom rung of the wage ladder and they will probably be getting food stamps from him.

  • Hunyock

    Good name for a Conservative as well since I am. I just don’t buy the whole us vs them political atmosphere we are in nowadays. I think I’m more of an anti collectivist now.

  • Paul Fisher

    Well lets see now…..collectivist huh? There is nothing conservative about being a collectivist because collectivism is:
    : a political or economic theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution; also : a system marked by such control
    : emphasis on collective rather than individual action or identity
    That my friend is socialism/marxism.

    One of the first warning signs of a socialist take over is getting the guns out the peoples hands. Mayor Settles is heading down that road of taking away guns. Maybe not all at once but they do it in increments very slowly so the people usually say “well if all they are going to do is a couple of guns, that’s OK”. They will be back time and again until they get the job done.

    The authorities are powerless to solve the real problem because the system refuses to enforce the laws that we already have on the books. Besides, law abiding citizens do just that, they abide by the law so therefore they are easier to get the guns from. Just pass a law and they will abide.
    People that are willing to break the laws now will still get the guns because there will be a huge black market for guns. Where do you think AK47’s come from? There are none made in this country.

  • Hunyock

    Retread my post. Anticollectivist.

  • Joan

    You are dead wrong, statistics don’t lie and you can say your BS all day long and try to rain on Omaha’s parade but Obama won a second term fair and square and you idiots lost. Democrats are the party of latinos, gays. black & white males and females. We are going forward not backwards and we have compassion for those who are less fortunate than we are. Omaha under Mayor Suttle is one of the country’s finest cities. See Hunyock post, you might learn something.