Thousands of Phone Calls Help City's First Woman Mayor Win Reelection
By Lisa May, Nebraska Federation President
On May 9, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert won a second term as the city's first woman mayor. Through a Call to Action issued by the National Federation of Republican Women, Republican women across the nation made thousands of phone calls to help Stothert, a member of Republican Business and Professional Women of Omaha, cross the finish line. She resoundingly defeated her Democrat opponent, Senator Heath Mello, by a margin of 7 points, 53% to 47%.
Who would have thought a little mayoral race would become one of the hottest races in the country?
The questions we must ask are, “What made this such a historical and imperative race?” It was a race with significant national exposure through all forms of media, high level support from both sides of the aisle, and very expensive. The answer would seem to be very complicated. However, it is in fact quite simple. The Omaha Mayoral race was to be the race to get the Democrats back, “A must win race,” declared DNC Chairman Tom Perez. It is just a little race in the middle of nowhere. No one would be paying attention after the grueling 2016 election cycle.
After all, according to some, a majority of “deplorables” that live in the Midwest are uneducated and do not know anything. The Dems thought it would be an easy in at the local level of leadership, positioning themselves for later races that will be up for grabs, such as senatorial and congressional seats. The Dems did not think Mayor Stothert would have the resources to pull off a win against high profile supporters such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They were wrong! And Omaha is not the only city or state where the DNC is trying to pull this off.
People and organizations like the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW), the Nebraska Federation of Republican Women and the Nebraska Republican Party were watching. The NFRW, which works largely on national and high level campaigns, spotlighted a local mayoral race. “The implications were too important not to put this race on the front burner and out there for all to see. We are an organization about women and for women. There was no question the NFRW had to step up, support and take this race to the national level of exposure especially when the candidate is one of its high profile elected members,” NFRW President Carrie Almond says.
The irony is that the Omaha area has 114,908 registered Democrats and only 98,620 registered Republican voters. Early voting played a significant role in the election, as evidenced by data from phone calls made in Nebraska and across the country by Federation members.
What can we take away from this election? Simply, never underestimate the power of women, either individually or as a group. There is an old saying, “If mama ain’t happy nobody is happy.” Tuesday evening at 10:30 pm there were a lot of happy women. What do we have to say to our counterparts? We are ready and watching and will not stand for your tactics, lies and blatant disregard for our freedom and rights.
Caption: Nebraska Federation President Lisa May, left, with Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert on election night.