National issues in Omaha race

Posted at 5:59 PM, Apr 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-21 18:59:10-04

The Omaha mayoral race is now getting national attention from hot button issues, to big name politicians.

Incumbent Mayor Jean Stothert and challenger Heath Mello are locked in a tight battle less than three weeks until Election Day.

One party leader says national issues play a big role in this race while the other says it's an attempt to distract people from the city's own issues.

"Heath is pro life and we have a lot of pro life democrats and a lot of pro choice democrats."

"Typically when you are talking about running a city you are talking about streets, sewers and taxes, these types of issues, you're not really talking about abortions.

US Senator Bernie Sanders rallied with about six-thousand people in Omaha Thursday, encouraging them to vote Heath Mello for mayor.

"The Mello campaign wants to make this about something other than how Omaha is doing because Omaha is prospering."

State democrat party chair Jane Kleeb says national leaders can address national issues that matter locally.

"He supports funding for Planned Parenthood especially their preventative healthcare service and would never restrict a woman's access to reproductive rights.”

Some voters say those national issues hit home.

"It affects us all in the long run; it starts small and grows big."

KC McCaslin says she'll support a candidate she doesn’t completely agree with.

"I don't vote for them just because of one issue they hold true to their heart."

"There are many issues that we should consider or ponder when we are voting on who should lead us.

Welch says sanders' appearance was just a huge attempt to deter voters.

"Of course the Mello campaign would like to talk about national issues because if this is simply a referendum on the job the mayor has done there's no way she is going to lose."

On the local level Kleeb says people want to have certain issues addressed.

"Heath is committed to put in place a climate action plan."

"We don't want this to be so political because this is about streets, sewers and taxes and these local issues."

The Omaha mayoral race is now getting national attention from hot button issues, to big name politicians.