OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Mayor Jean Stothert's quest to be the first mayor of Omaha to serve three terms is well underway.
After announcing her intentions in November, she officially turned in her petitions to the election office Thursday.
“I love my job, I love the city of Omaha and that’s why I want to run again,” said Stothert.
Just two months have passed since the contentious November presidential election, but Stothert hopes voters may have a different level of excitement for city elections.
"People care about what happens in their daily life every day, they care about their potholes, they care about their trash getting picked up,” said Stothert.
And if you are an Omaha resident, wary of another election, Stothert vows to keep it positive.
“I have never run a negative campaign, and I won’t run a negative campaign now. I have always concentrated on telling people on why to vote for me and I don’t spend a ton of time on telling people why to not vote for my opponents,” says Stothert.
Stothert said her first priority is public safety. The murder rate in Omaha has steadily gone down in her tenure but went up from 23 to 37 last year.
She also said civil unrest may have caused the spike in 2020 and hopes or a downward trend this year, and beyond.
“This past year, unfortunately, the numbers went up," she said. "We feel like we have a good handle on it and no, I do not feel like it’s less safe than it was before,” said Stothert. “I’m not happy with 37, Todd Schmaderer is not happy with 37, I would like it to be zero.”
RJ Neary and Kimara Snipes have also turned in the required petitions to get on the ballot.
This week, Neary criticized Stothert for not issuing a mask mandate. Stothert said she never had the power.
“I think Mr. Neary needs to look at the city charter, look at city code and if he’s running for mayor, look at the responsibilities and the authority the mayor has. Obviously, he doesn’t,” said Stothert.
The state of Nebraska has an election for Governor coming up just next year in 2022.
When asked, Stothert said she was not interested in leading the state. She said she's focused on the city of Omaha.