The news of Vokal’s run isn’t a big surprise, and should now conclude the “RunJimmyRun” campaign started a few months ago by a former co-worked of Vokal. Vokal has been raising money for some time now, and his organizational efforts can now kick-in and join the other major announced candidate in the field, former Mayor Hal Daub.
While an officially non-partisan race, both Vokal and Daub are Republicans, so it will be interesting to see who chooses what side between the two.
Add to the mix the other presumed major candidate, Councilman Jim Suttle — a Democrat. But Suttle’s relationship with present Mayor, Democrat Mike Fahey, is considered icy, and there is a huge question-mark as to whether Fahey would support a Suttle run. (Others would say there is no question — that Fahey won’t support Suttle.)
Will Fahey get involved in this race? Would it be likely that he would sit it out completely? And will he pull traditional Democrat supporters to whomever he may endorse? We wait. We wait.
The next big question, after Suttle announces, is: will anyone else jump in?
Retiring City Councilman Dan Welch is still “50-50” in his decision on whether or not to toss his hat. However as time, and donors, slip away, it will be more and more difficult for Welch to enter the race.
Is there anyone else? We have effectively canceled out the possibilities of Scott Hazelrigg, Brad Ashford, John Ewing and Pat Bourne. Any of them could, in theory, jump in, but that’s not what we’re hearing.
Nonetheless, we are still convinced that at least one more major candidate could make it interesting.
Former KETV Channel 7, photojournalist and talk show host Ben Gray has decided to give it a whirl for North Omaha’s City Council District 2. The seat is currently held by former KETV reporter Frank Brown.
Brown has consistently refused to tell any of the media his intentions on whether or not he will run for re-election (we didn’t bother). But of those “no comments”, our favorite was Brown’s response to his old station:
“I don’t talk to channel 7.”
Rrrrwrrowr! Well, there you go.
(But by giving them that response, didn’t he technically talk to them, and thereby cancel out his statement? Shouldn’t he just have hung up the phone? Or maybe he emailed that response, and he is willing to type, but just not talk. In which case, it’s still confusing.)
Gray has an interesting background, having hosted the Sunday morning local talk show that would be on opposite “Davey & Goliath”, “Jean’s Story Time”, “All Star Wrestling” and “Notre Dame Football” for years — “Kaleidoscope”. Gray hosted the program for nearly thirty years before retiring this year. You can’t say he hasn’t been focused on Omaha.
Gray also was an opponent of Senator Ernie Chambers’s plan for the Omaha learning districts. Gray was notably quoted in the New York Times as saying, “This is a disaster.” (Of course Brenda Council, who was just elected to Chambers’s seat was also against the proposal.)
In any case, if Frank Brown does eventually tell the press whether he will run, that should set up an interesting battle in District 2. Two former Channel 7 personalities, both relatively well-known, fairly respected.
And in a district that was given a lot of political attention in the past few months. It is likely that those who recently became politically active will be looking to stay involved.
That could be a fun one to watch.
And just to keep things balanced, yesterday another candidate officially entered the race for Omaha Mayor. His name is Jerry Odom. He has his campaign website up and running as well — ChangeForOmaha.com.
Now you have to hand it to people like Odom He probably wants the best for Omaha, etc., etc.
But the funny thing is, Odom’s old website now links to his new Mayoral site.
And his old site? Well, that would be Odom for PRESIDENT!
Yes, Mr. Odom first had his sites set on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Since party-pooper Obama is moving in, he is instead gunning for 1819 Farnam. Sure it’s a step-down. But the commute is much easier.
(We apologize to any non-Omahans whom we are boring to tears. If there is some interesting Nebraska politics that you’d like to see discussed, email us or toss it in the comments.)