He keeps going…and going…and going…

Is 2008 too far away for you? Well how about 2009?!

It’s apparent that a number of candidates have already flung their lids into the ring for the Omaha Mayor’s office for 2009. Councilmen Jim Suttle and Jim Vokal have already started raising cash. And then there’s former Mayor Hal Daub, who’s being coy between and ’08 Senate run and one for a return to the big office in the City/County Building.

One telling note about which one he prefers – or maybe is more likely to gun for – comes from a recent fund raiser for Jim Vokal. Notably off the list for those joining in for this Republican was… Hal Daub. If Daub was really just planning on a Senate run, one would think he’d join his fellow GOPer for such an event.

But beyond the big article in the OWH (Hal Daub considers City Hall return, Senate bid – OWH – 12/3/06), word is that Hal IS up and running (beyond the “thinking about it” stages). And apparently Jessica Moenning (she of the catastrophic Ricketts campaign) is Daub’s chief organizer/campaign manager in waiting (***Update – See Below***).

Of course, the question really is, Waiting for which? We here at Leavenworth Street still feel Daub would have a very difficult time with a third shot at the Senate. Sure he wouldn’t be going up against a sitting Senator, as he’d done both of the last times. But there’s no indication that those across the state have a warm and fuzzy feel for him now (and “former Omaha mayor” doesn’t necessarily help him in the 3rd District either…).

Now it’s always possible that Attorney Jon Bruning could implode (and we don’t discount that a bit), but absent that, Nebraskans state-wide are more likely to want a fresh face.

But what about Omahans? 2009 is a looooong ways away. In a few years, will the Qwest Center still be humming along? Will the other financial issues be fixed? Will people be talking about a trolley – another of Daub’s ideas? Or will Omahans feel that Daub’s day is over and also want new blood?

Since he’s been gone, Daub’s reputation as Mayor has probably grown, as many see the initiatives he pushed really flourishing. He’s probably remembered most for his boundless energy – and one unlikely to be found at, say, the Holiday Bar at 4pm on a Wednesday. His contentious relationship with the City Council came when it was run by those who opposed most of his moves. Now that it’s a GOP majority, would that make it easier for him? But, again, who knows what it may look like in three years.

In any case, expect Daub, Vokal and Suttle to be very active around Omaha for the next few years. Their posturing will be worthy of runway models.

Leavenworth Street has been contacted directly by Jessica Moenning, who has stated that she has NOT committed to managing or organizing for Hal Daub and has NOT had any communications with Daub regarding such an endeavor.
We apologize for the incorrect assertion.


  1. Everything Happens for a Reason says:

    This is off topic, but I would like to congratulate the Millard Public School Board on naming their new elementary school after Ronald Reagan.

    Reagan is the greatest President of most of our lifetimes, and naming an elementary school after him will honor his great contributions to America.

  2. Street Sweeper says:

    Hmm. Let me help you here:
    Daub came into Congress in the Reagan Revolution, and is considered the chief Reagan Republican in the state. And speaking of Reagan…

  3. asecurityguard says:

    I think Daub would have more than he could chew if he went after the mayor spot again, assuming Fahey ran for a third term. The world herald article about him pointed out that he evokes strong emotions from democrats and republicans. I dont think Fahey evokes strong negative feelings, but he does bring strong positive feelings. Fahey has avoided big public fights (except for the annexation of Elkhorn but most Omahans are for that) while daub was constantly in a fight with the council. Plus when Daub lost he was an incumbent going up against a challenger most had not heard of. And is drinking at 4pm on a wednesday really a bad thing? At least its not like 2pm or 10am…

  4. OmaSteak says:

    It’s hard to imagine Hal being successful in a republican primary against either Jon Brunig or Pete Ricketts…assuming Hagel isn’t going to run for his senate seat while also running for president. It’s also hard to imagine Jim Vokal beating Suttle or Fahey for mayor, given his last race against Mrs. Carbunkle for the city council and some of the “issues” that surfaced about Vokal during that campaign. Hal is trying to tie-up deep pockets republican support for a mayor’s race…either for his own run or to control who gets that backing if he rightly decides he’s better off in the private sector. What about a Dave Friend or Dan Welch run against Fahey or Suttle? If people who promised financial support to Dave Friend’s last campaign had made good, it’s likely that last race would have been much closer…although it’s hard to discount the Landow/Fahey ability to strong arm support plus solid base east of 72nd. Dan Welch would be an attractive candidate given his city council record and leadership shown in trying to rein in the influence of the fire union.

  5. Mom at Home says:

    I think “asecurityguard” is Mayor Fahey’s babysitter, Paul Landow. There are people who will put themselves out for public scrutiny and then there are wannabe’s. Landow is a wannabe, BUT, Fahey would have been ousted last time around if Landow weren’t such a good babysitter! I say Fahey is very likely to be beat by anyone who runs against him-Omaha is not a “placeholder Mayor” town.

    Now, let me go pack those lunches!

  6. Street Sweeper says:

    For those of you who only read the comments section, please note the update to this post on 12/6/06. It reads as follows:

    Leavenworth Street has been contacted directly by Jessica Moenning, who has stated that she has NOT committed to managing or organizing for Hal Daub and has NOT had any communications with Daub regarding such an endeavor.
    We apologize for the incorrect assertion.

  7. asecurityguard says:

    I think I was insulted by being called Paul Landow, and a baby sitter, but Im not sure. Anyway… If Fahey will get beat by anyone running against him then why did he soundly beat Dave Friend??? Friend certainly had the credentials to beat Fahey, but the voters rewarded Fahey for doing a good job, namely not screwing up! Someone talk about how Fahey has screwed up. MOM AT HOME you chose to critisize the mayors chief of staff in a blog about a potential mayoral showdown??? A little relevancy please

  8. Anonymous says:

    Friend lost because he had no money and could not get his name recognition and positions in front of the most voters (mind you, I said the “most” voters, not the “well informed” voters).

    Fahey’s machine was also very successful in hiding the fact that the last public works bond issue was about coming up with the money to pay the state for Omaha’s portion of the Dodge Street Expressway. That bill was paid for in a previous bond sold to the voters about ten years ago. The money was actually shifted to pay for chuckhole repair and local street widening projects ahead of there scheduled date. No one suspected that the Expressway would be completed so early and need to be paid for in a budget year that didn’t have the money. Therefore, the Landow Administration, I mean Mayor Fahey, had to have another bond that he could tap into. If you remember, when another bond wasn’t flying during the last Mayor’s race, it all of the sudden became about public access, street widening to zip everyone home quicker, and recreation in West “O”, ie: a great big water park at Zorinsky Lake.

    Way to suck up to West “O” conservatives. The mom’s out west have been complaining of no access to a public pool west of 120th and Dodge for years! There are lot’s of private pools out here, but the cheapest one is $500 a season.
    Fahey got reelected by playing a shell game with bond money and taking credit for all of the Downtown/Riverfront redevelopment.

    All he can take credit for next time is tremendous debt and Elkhorn annexation-while current Omahans may ahve been in favor of that, no one in Elkhorn was and they WILL get to vote in the next mayor’s race. Fahey is toast!

  9. ptg says:

    What project is left to attract the voters now that global warming has taken the pothole problem off the front page and the streets are widened? Will it be streetcars or gondola canals?

    I liked Hal. He was a man you could laugh at when his ideas seemed over the top. Fahey gives me heartburn; his schemes pose real threats.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let me focus the 2008 picture. The GOP Senate nomination will go to either:

    1.) Chuck Hagel, if he wants it.
    2.) Mike Johanns, if Hagel moves on.
    3.) Jon Bruning, if — and only if — one of the above doesn’t run. And if no one exposes those liberal, left-wing rants Jon wrote for the UNL Daily Nebraska when he was in law school.

    -Ed Randolph

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