First we just would like to let everyone know that, Yes, Coach P. called us up and screamed at us on Saturday night. But we are OK with it. And after talking to our high school blogging coach, we want you to know that we are not quitting. OK? OK.
So, we thought it interesting that Robyn Tysver of the OWH put together a list of Omaha Mayoral maybes, if a) the recall signatures go through and b) Suttle then loses a recall vote.
A little hasty of the OWH, no? Sounds like something WE would have done, right?
Well, nice to see that the newspaper is catching up, and we appreciate their insight.
So here is what we think of their list, and others who should or shouldn’t be on it:
1) Hal Daub
Unless someone tells us otherwise, we have to assume Hal is in.
First, interesting that the OWH has changed his name from “Hal Daub” to “Hal Daub, 69”. Very subtle there OWH (pun not intended).
But here are our thoughts on a potential Daub campaign: Hal once again will have to combat any preconceived notions of himself and his personality, etc. He will have to run as “the man you know” -- meaning a guy who can get the job done.
Differently though, Daub will have to completely spell out what he would/will do differently as Mayor to turn things around. He will have to let voters vote on the “Hal Daub Plan” -- instead of simply voting on “Hal Daub, the person”.
It will really need to be a “if you want a ‘perhaps and maybe’ plan, then vote for the other guys. But you did that with Suttle. If you want to implement my plan, I’m your guy.” Otherwise Daub will fall victim to the “he’s a mean ogre” campaign that Suttle ran. He will need to be specific.
The risk there is that someone else just does a “me too!” on his plan. But that is the sort of risk he will have to take.
2) Dave Nabity
Again, unless someone says otherwise, we will assume he is in.
Nabity has the benefit of being Hal Daub-esque, without many of the negatives that Daub has built up through the years. But if Nabity is Daub-Lite, would voters be more likely to go with the Real Thing? It could possibly come down to that.
All of that being said, a commenter noted that the City Charter states that a candidate for Mayor must have lived in the city "for five consecutive years immediately prior to taking office..."
We don't know all the details of his residency, but this may be an issue for him. Any legal beagles can let us know more on this.
It is our understanding that Nebraska state law takes precedence over the city charter, and that the Nebraska law says Mayor has a six month residency requirement. This being the case, we understand that Nabity would meet the requirements.
3) Pete Festersen
If the Democrats need to get behind someone, it is probably Festersen. But though he has made some votes, he is still essentially an unknown to voters.
He was unopposed for his City Council race, so didn’t have to really campaign. And like it or not, someone has to carry the stink of the Fahey years and decisions. Festersen, a top Fahey aide, will have a a target on his back for all of that.
The relatievely young Festersen (40) hasn’t had to face up to that yet, but in a Mayoral race, absolutely would. That could pose a real problem.
4) Scott Hazelrigg
We have put Hazelrigg on our various lists in the past, but we found it interesting that Tysver included him in her list. There had to be someone who suggested him or pushed him, because otherwise he is quite an unknown to make the big list.
Hazelrigg has had the backing of Suzie Buffet and her deepest pockets for a while, and there are certainly many who think, “he’s a smart, good looking guy; he is what Omaha needs!”
Except that Hazelrigg is a complete unknown in most of the city. He doesn’t have much to hang his hat on, and has a few demerits in his career. He also just took the gig at the Omaha Home for Boys, in a position that usually is long term.
Could be just a trial balloon. But keep an eye on this one.
Is Vokal willing to give it another shot? He recently started a new gig himself, and has kept himself active on the MECA board.
But someone like Vokal would not just be able to decide to run and “go for it”. He would need to have immediate financial backing and political support to make him a front runner.
If he was the least bit half-hearted or unsupported, he would have a hard time.
It is our understanding that former councilman Welch is looking at this. But we would be surprised if he pulled the trigger here, in the end.
7) Tom White
After the “shellacking” that White took (to use the President’s words), we would doubt that Dems would back him so soon. We think White will need to take a break before coming back.
And now those left off the list.
He wasn’t listed as a yes or a no, but Morgan has gotta be thinking about it. Just elected -- unopposed -- to the Douglas County Board, Morgan is politically “back”. Though the DCB is a much easier decision than Mayor.
Morgan is someone who could immediately gather the funds for a run. But, like it or not, Morgan will still have to have a heart-to-heart with voters on why he suddenly quit the job back in ‘94. Yes, we understand that it was a “personal” decision. But in this very public job, Morgan would have to be much more forthcoming for voters to trust him again.
Or is 17 years long enough for voters to forget?
Tysver lists Ashford among the “not going to run”.
Don’t you believe it.
Right now Ashford is the face of the anti-Recall campaign, and he couldn’t come out now and say “but just in case...” People would immediately question his sincerity, right?
But if Suttle is out, look for Ashford to suddenly say, “well, for the good of the City...”
He will position himself as a “Republican who can work with Democrats”. But of course, the pro-higher taxes, pro-abortion, pro-gun ban Ashford is really the face of the word “RINO” in the political dictionary.
Ashford would simply be Jim Suttle with a wig and glasses. Or at least that’s the way his opponents would/should frame him.
10) Someone Else!
The way things stand now, this race has the potential to be really wide open. If enough credible names get in, second place could be a battle. So if someone with the right backing decides to play, everything could change.
And hey, we haven’t forgotten about you non-Omahans! We have a little statewide news.
First, remember Pay Flynn? Well, he announced quite a while back that he was running for Senate in 2012.
And not to be left out on all the discussions, he announced it again. He is now (surprise!) trying to position himself as the Tea Party candidate. Watch that drum get banged repeatedly the next few years.
Then there is a name that is currently being floated around as an alternative to Jon Bruning:
Fisher was recently featured in the OWH, and has been mentioned as a potential President for the Omaha Metropolitan Utilities District board.
But lately certain business types have been floating his name for Senate.
The main question now is if Fisher is really interested in that job.
And then there is the fact that Bruning is efficiently locking up support in the business community on his own.
Things are still interesting here, nonetheless.