Mayor Jean Stothert announces reelection bid

Posted at 11:03 PM, Nov 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 00:03:34-05

Just after the 2016 elections, the marquee race in Omaha in 2017 is taking center stage.

Monday night Omaha mayor Jean Stothert announced her bid for reelection to a joyous applause from supporters.

Public safety, improving the city’s infrastructure, reducing taxes and balancing the budget are some of Stothert’s main priorities.

“Make me safer, fix my streets, reduce my taxes we've done all three,” said Stothert.

Stothert touts her commitment to public safety-by the end of this year she says there will be 860 officers on the streets, an all-time high, with a 14-percent reduction in crime during her tenure as mayor.

“The direction that we decided to go is really working and we will continue in that direction,” said Stothert.

That direction Stotert says will change Omaha for the better-even changing how you see Omaha-literally.

“In the next four years you're going to see a lot of things happening, you're going to see downtown look different , you're going to see the river front look different and we need to keep on moving in that direction,” said Stothert.

Even before this announcement Stothert faces a challenger-state senator Heath Mello saying he would be the better mayor.

I'm convinced the problems facing Omaha we're not going to be able to solve them with bitter politics  that the current administration displayed.

Mello going after Stothert's campaign promise to lower the restaurant tax-which has yet to be done.

“I'm a different kind of candidate in the sense that I’m not making promises I know I can't keep,” said Mello.

However Stothert reduced property taxes instead-a decision she stands by.

“I felt like it would help Omaha and taxpayers more and I still think that's the right decision,” said Stothert.

Mello's says he will officially have a campaign party in December.