There was no place on Tuesday's election ballot for Omahans to vote on dirty politics.
Across Omaha, voters leaving polling places said the mayoral race had their attention and they they were not undecided.
They voted “no” on negative campaigning.
“It ticks me off when people go negative,” said David Ommen, 45, after voting at Prairie Lane Christian Reformed Church near 120th Street and West Center Road.
Ommen, like other voters encountered across the city, said the mayoral election was his top ballot issue. Also, all seven Omaha City Council seats were on the ballot — and all nine seats for the Omaha Public Schools board.
The mayoral race has been dogged by a few dirty tricks, including vulgar tweets and a controversial T-shirt that portrayed candidate Jean Stothert on a stripper pole. Several voters said the T-shirt episode reinforced their decisions.
At St. Rose Catholic Church on 13th Street, south of the Henry Doorly Zoo, Dennis Hollenbeck said the incident helped him choose between Republicans Stothert and Dave Nabity.
“Nobody should have to go through that,” said Hollenbeck, adding that he chose Stothert because he considered her the best chance to unseat Democratic Mayor Jim Suttle.
Midtown voter Mary Ellen O'Connell said the T-shirt degraded women but said it had nothing to do with her vote for Suttle at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church near 61st Street and Western Avenue.
O'Connell said Suttle has done a good job tackling inherited problems and leading the city.
“We had the police and fire union issues way before Jim Suttle took office,” she said.
Brinker Harding, whose two young daughters tagged along as he voted at Lutheran Church of the Master at 114th Street and West Center, said the attacks on Stothert were disgusting.
“Unfortunately, it's part of some game plans,” he said.
Harding is a former chief of staff for ex-Mayor Hal Daub.
Fred Manley, who voted at Plaza Buick GMC near 120th and I Streets, said the attacks didn't influence his vote. The elections were officially nonpartisan, but Manley didn't shy away from revealing his allegiance.
“All the Republicans are union busters,” he said. “I'm a union man.”
Robert Hammang and his wife, Betty, voted at Beveridge Magnet Middle School near South 120th and Hickory Streets.
His voting motivation was simple: “To get rid of the present mayor. We voted against him in the recall (election), and now we get another crack at him.”
Retired firefighter Jimmy Thomas drove Maxine Calloway, a friend from church, to her polling place at the Urban League of Nebraska, 30th and Lake Streets. Thomas had voted for Suttle earlier at Benson High School, although he said firefighters didn't get all they wanted from the mayor in labor negotiations.
“He's in our corner,” Thomas said.
Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps said voting generally went smoothly with light turnout, except in cases where voters didn't notice changes in OPS subdistricts and were surprised at their choices in the voting booth.
Margaret Connolly, who votes at New Cassel Retirement Center, 900 N. 90th St., said she prepared to vote in her usual subdistrict but received a ballot for another. She said she received no mailer from the election commission about the change.
Phipps said state law doesn't require sending new voter cards for such boundary changes. Also, his office couldn't afford the courtesy mailing, he said.
World-Herald staff writers Henry J. Cordes, Bob Glissmann, Marjie Ducey and Chris Machian contributed to this report.
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