One of the candidates for Omaha mayor is an unabashed supporter of communist Cuba and its longtime former leader, Fidel Castro.
She also believes capitalism is a dying institution.
Maura DeLuca, 34, is the little-known Socialist candidate who hails from Pittsburgh and once ran for vice president of the United States.
If elected, DeLuca promises to build more child care centers, more schools and more hospitals. Unlike her opponents, DeLuca is not worried about raising taxes.
“I suppose it would cut into the profit of capitalist owners, but that's not our concern. Our concern is working-class people,” DeLuca said.
Although DeLuca's name will appear on the ballot, the long-shot candidate has not received as much media attention as the five major contenders.
DeLuca moved to Omaha in December to help build the Socialist Workers Party in the Midwest. When she learned about the Omaha mayor's race, she received the support of her party and gathered the 1,000 signatures needed to run.
She will barely make the residency requirements. City ordinances require that an incoming mayor has lived in the city for six months before taking office. DeLuca moved to Omaha in December. If elected, she would take office in June — barely six months after moving here.
She has been active in the Socialist Workers Party since 2005, when she went to a party meeting in Pittsburgh. Her allegiance to socialism was cemented in 2006 when she took part in a workers walkout at a sewing factory in New York City. “That had a big impact on me,” she said.
DeLuca, who has a bachelor's degree in communications, rose quickly in the party. In 2012 she became the running mate to James Harris, the Socialist Party's presidential candidate.
“I'm just trying to build a movement of working-class people,” DeLuca said.
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