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Omaha mayor candidates speak on election night


It is election night in the city of Omaha and many of the votes are already counted.Voters are narrowing the field of candidates for mayor.Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert easily leads the group. The race will be for second place and R.J. Neary holds the edge over Jasmine Harris. Kimara Snipes follows at fourth and Mark Gudgel sits at fifth. The top two candidates will advance.Jean Stothert:When KETV NewsWatch 7’s Alexandra Stone spoke with the incumbent earlier this evening, Stothert said she was feeling good heading into the evening.Stothert arrived at her campaign event with her children Tuesday evening and thanked supporters for partnering with her to make Omaha the best city they can.Stothert has held a strong lead all night and has claimed more than 60% of the votes counted thus far.The crowd at the campaign event chanted “four more years” as she arrived to speak.Stothert told the group she had hoped she would do well but did not expect such a strong vote of confidence in her work and Omaha’s future. She spoke of a number of goals if she’s elected to another term, including a full recovery after the pandemic.”We want Omaha to be a city of example and hope and a community of conscience,” Stothert said. She added that she is looking for the community to be one of “harmony rather than conflict.””Our future will be one of unity rather than division, harmony rather than conflict, and love rather than hate,” Stothert said. “Omaha strives to be a city of equality, understanding and trust. By working together in Omaha, we have made great progress. And yet, there is so much more to do.R.J. Neary:Over at the R.J. Neary campaign, it appears that the Omaha businessman will face off against Stothert in the general election.Neary told KETV NewsWatch 7’s David Earl that he’s had concession calls from two of the other candidates in the primary. The Democratic Party is planning a unity event for Wednesday where they are expecting everyone to coalesce around the Neary campaign.A small but committed group celebrated with Neary Tuesday evening. Because of the pandemic, the group contained campaign staff, some supporters and family.Neary started down the path back in February 2020, and he’s hit every corner of the city talking to people.”I’ve met with community leaders, I’ve been in boardrooms, but I’ve also been at people’s doors and people do want to talk about Omaha. Omahans are very proud of their city, they’re very proud of their neighborhoods, they’re very proud of their parks and they have opinions on how that oughta be done. I can go all night about the people I’ve met on this campaign trail, either on a bus or knocking on a door or on a gravel road in South Omaha,” Neary said.Neary said he’s looking forward to scrubbing the issues with Stothert over the next five weeks. He’ll need that time to bring not only all the Democrats together, but to make up thousands of votes to surpass the incumbent in the general election.But Neary’s convinced the more people hear his plan, the more they’ll like it.Jasmine Harris:In Benson, KETV NewsWatch 7’s Sarah Fili reported from where supporters of Jasmine Harris gathered.Harris said this is a movement for the people and the high voter turnout proves people want change in Omaha. Neary leads Harris by under 3,000 votes. Harris said she ran a campaign aimed at getting regular people into politics and making sure the people in power are listening. Her supporters cheered her on Tuesday evening.Harris thanked volunteers for their hard work and their drive to get the ideas out there. She said there are many ballots yet to be counted and she’s still optimistic the gap between here and Neary can be narrowed.”We still have more votes coming in and regardless, it has always been about putting people where they belong, and that’s in power and ensuring that we are part of everything that goes on in this city,” Harris said.Harris’ young children were at the start of the election night party, but left once it reached their bedtime, but Harris said she’s had all her children involved in the campaign process, showing them how important local change-makers are.Kimara Snipes:Omaha school board member Kimara Snipes watched returns tonight in South Omaha where the event was lively, informal and had a supportive atmosphere.Snipes watched the numbers roll in and made calls to other candidates, making tabs on what those numbers are saying.”The most important thing to me is making sure the work continues,” Snipes said in an interview to KETV NewsWatch 7’s Jose Zozaya. “There’s still a need for equity across the city,” Snipes added. “The city is still not okay. We need to fix everything that most of us have been talking about.”Snipes went on to say that “whoever makes it through the primaries” should be in contact with other candidates as things move toward the general election.”Everyone has been out talking to people and hopefully intentionally listening to people. Whoever makes it makes it through the primaries should be reaching out to all the candidates to see what they have heard and how they can incorporate that into their own platform,” Snipes said.Mark Gudgel:Candidate Mark Gudgel is running fifth in the mayoral primary. Gudgel told KETV NewsWatch 7’s Nick Amatangelo that he was surprised by the early results and that he was disappointed not to be moving on to the general election in May. “It’s disappointing for everybody here. I’ve spent a lot of time kind of thinking about things that have happened and what’s next,” Gudgel said.Still, Gudgel added that he’s proud to have been in the conversation.”It’s an honor to have run and it’s an honor to have been in such great company,” he explained.Gudgel said he’s not sure of his next move but he believes his ideas are still important for the direction of Omaha.

It is election night in the city of Omaha and many of the votes are already counted.

Voters are narrowing the field of candidates for mayor.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert easily leads the group. The race will be for second place and R.J. Neary holds the edge over Jasmine Harris. Kimara Snipes follows at fourth and Mark Gudgel sits at fifth.

The top two candidates will advance.

Jean Stothert:

When KETV NewsWatch 7’s Alexandra Stone spoke with the incumbent earlier this evening, Stothert said she was feeling good heading into the evening.

Stothert arrived at her campaign event with her children Tuesday evening and thanked supporters for partnering with her to make Omaha the best city they can.

Stothert has held a strong lead all night and has claimed more than 60% of the votes counted thus far.

The crowd at the campaign event chanted “four more years” as she arrived to speak.

Stothert told the group she had hoped she would do well but did not expect such a strong vote of confidence in her work and Omaha’s future.

She spoke of a number of goals if she’s elected to another term, including a full recovery after the pandemic.

“We want Omaha to be a city of example and hope and a community of conscience,” Stothert said.

She added that she is looking for the community to be one of “harmony rather than conflict.”

“Our future will be one of unity rather than division, harmony rather than conflict, and love rather than hate,” Stothert said. “Omaha strives to be a city of equality, understanding and trust. By working together in Omaha, we have made great progress. And yet, there is so much more to do.

R.J. Neary:

Over at the R.J. Neary campaign, it appears that the Omaha businessman will face off against Stothert in the general election.

Neary told KETV NewsWatch 7’s David Earl that he’s had concession calls from two of the other candidates in the primary. The Democratic Party is planning a unity event for Wednesday where they are expecting everyone to coalesce around the Neary campaign.

A small but committed group celebrated with Neary Tuesday evening. Because of the pandemic, the group contained campaign staff, some supporters and family.

Neary started down the path back in February 2020, and he’s hit every corner of the city talking to people.

“I’ve met with community leaders, I’ve been in boardrooms, but I’ve also been at people’s doors and people do want to talk about Omaha. Omahans are very proud of their city, they’re very proud of their neighborhoods, they’re very proud of their parks and they have opinions on how that oughta be done. I can go all night about the people I’ve met on this campaign trail, either on a bus or knocking on a door or on a gravel road in South Omaha,” Neary said.

Neary said he’s looking forward to scrubbing the issues with Stothert over the next five weeks. He’ll need that time to bring not only all the Democrats together, but to make up thousands of votes to surpass the incumbent in the general election.

But Neary’s convinced the more people hear his plan, the more they’ll like it.

Jasmine Harris:

In Benson, KETV NewsWatch 7’s Sarah Fili reported from where supporters of Jasmine Harris gathered.

Harris said this is a movement for the people and the high voter turnout proves people want change in Omaha. Neary leads Harris by under 3,000 votes.

Harris said she ran a campaign aimed at getting regular people into politics and making sure the people in power are listening. Her supporters cheered her on Tuesday evening.

Harris thanked volunteers for their hard work and their drive to get the ideas out there. She said there are many ballots yet to be counted and she’s still optimistic the gap between here and Neary can be narrowed.

“We still have more votes coming in and regardless, it has always been about putting people where they belong, and that’s in power and ensuring that we are part of everything that goes on in this city,” Harris said.

Harris’ young children were at the start of the election night party, but left once it reached their bedtime, but Harris said she’s had all her children involved in the campaign process, showing them how important local change-makers are.

Kimara Snipes:

Omaha school board member Kimara Snipes watched returns tonight in South Omaha where the event was lively, informal and had a supportive atmosphere.

Snipes watched the numbers roll in and made calls to other candidates, making tabs on what those numbers are saying.

“The most important thing to me is making sure the work continues,” Snipes said in an interview to KETV NewsWatch 7’s Jose Zozaya.

“There’s still a need for equity across the city,” Snipes added. “The city is still not okay. We need to fix everything that most of us have been talking about.”

Snipes went on to say that “whoever makes it through the primaries” should be in contact with other candidates as things move toward the general election.

“Everyone has been out talking to people and hopefully intentionally listening to people. Whoever makes it makes it through the primaries should be reaching out to all the candidates to see what they have heard and how they can incorporate that into their own platform,” Snipes said.

Mark Gudgel:

Candidate Mark Gudgel is running fifth in the mayoral primary.

Gudgel told KETV NewsWatch 7’s Nick Amatangelo that he was surprised by the early results and that he was disappointed not to be moving on to the general election in May.

“It’s disappointing for everybody here. I’ve spent a lot of time kind of thinking about things that have happened and what’s next,” Gudgel said.

Still, Gudgel added that he’s proud to have been in the conversation.

“It’s an honor to have run and it’s an honor to have been in such great company,” he explained.

Gudgel said he’s not sure of his next move but he believes his ideas are still important for the direction of Omaha.



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