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Election Updates: Close Board of Regents race sees Kennedy and Stark in the lead
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Election Updates: Close Board of Regents race sees Kennedy and Stark in the lead

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10:28 p.m.

Close Board of Regents race sees Kennedy and Stark in the lead

Mike Kennedy and Jack Stark are in line to advance to the November election for an Omaha-area seat on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

In a close race, Kennedy and Stark held the top two spots in a three-person field for the Board of Regents’ District 2 seat.

Kennedy was ahead, and Stark stood in second place nearly 1,700 votes ahead of Viv Ewing in unofficial results late Tuesday night.​

The top two will advance to the general election.

Howard Hawks is not seeking another term on the Board of Regents. District 2 includes much of Sarpy County and some of Douglas County.

Kennedy has served on the Millard Public Schools board for 18 years and had a spot on the Metro Community College board before that.

Jack Stark is a psychologist who worked with the Husker football team during its national title stretch in the 1990s.

Viv Ewing has been a manager in nonprofits and is married to Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing.

— Jeffrey Robb and Rick Ruggles


10:20 p.m.

Longtime Douglas County Board member appears headed toward defeat

Seven-term Republican Douglas County Board Member Clare Duda appears headed for a loss to former State Sen. Mike Friend.

Duda is one of the main proponents of the controversial Douglas County justice center project. Friend opposes it. If he continues to cruise, Friend will face Democrat Jo Giles in November for the District 7 seat.

It also appears more possible that two members of the same family could sit on the County Board. Maureen Boyle had a big lead for the Democratic Party nomination to face Republican Tim Lonergan in the fall for the retiring Marc Kraft’s District 5 seat. Incumbent Mike Boyle, her father, held a slim lead over Roger Garcia in District 1.

— Christopher Burbach


10:06 p.m.

In Nebraska, Trump takes 90% of primary vote; Biden takes 79%

​Nebraska's primary voters officially put their votes for president behind Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Tuesday, Nebraska voters advanced President Trump and Biden to the November general election.

Trump was winning more than 90% of the vote in the party primary with a ballot that also included Bill Weld.

The Democratic ballot included Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard.

Biden was gathering about 79% of the vote. Sanders and Warren combined to get about 19%.

Nebraska has five electoral votes for president, and gives out three of those based on which presidential candidate wins in each congressional district.

Trump won all five votes in 2016, winning nearly 59% of the total vote statewide compared to nearly 34% for Hillary Clinton.​

- Jeffrey Robb


9:13 p.m. 

Millard's $125 million school bond issue passes

Millard Public Schools voters committed new funding Tuesday to upgrade their schools.

Tuesday, voters approved a $125 million school bond issue to fund maintenance, renovation and school safety projects.

Officials say the expenditures would be spread across the district’s buildings, but four schools are targeted for multimillion-dollar upgrades.

The district would spend $53.4 million on major renovations, $45.5 million on summer maintenance projects, $9 million on safety and security, and the rest on energy-efficiency projects and replacing furniture and capital equipment.

The most costly project would be $14.5 million in renovation and repairs at Central Middle School. The school built in 1960 would get a major overhaul: everything from windows, flooring and cabinets to lighting and heating systems.

Two elementary schools built in 1964, Cody and Norris, would see renovations and repairs of $8 million and $6.8 million, respectively.

Millard South High School would get a more secure vestibule-type entrance, similar to the one at Millard North, as part of $7.3 million in repairs and renovations.

In all, 22 schools would see improvements of at least $750,000 each.

Millard voters last approved a bond issue in 2013. That one totaled $79.9 million, more than a third of which was spent on improving school security.

More recently, Millard voters in November 2017 authorized the school board to exceed the state’s property tax levy limit for general fund expenditures.

- Joe Dejka and Jeffrey Robb


9:03 p.m.

$200 million bond issue overwhelmingly approved by Omahans

20200420_ new_streetsbond_kf4 (copy)

Omahans overwhelmingly approved of measures for a $200 million bond issue to improve city streets.

Omahans solidly said they wanted an influx of funding to fix city streets.

Voters overwhelmingly approved measures allowing the City of Omaha to issue $200 million in bonds for city street maintenance and to pay off those bonds with property taxes.

The bond issue will generate $40 million more in city street funding over the next five years to create a long-term program to repair and maintain roads across Omaha, in every City Council district and dozens of neighborhoods.

Residents now can expect the first road work associated with the bond issue to begin this summer, Mayor Jean Stothert has said. The first projects on tap have yet to be announced, but the city has a list of priority projects that encompass about $80 million to $100 million of work.

The bond issue approved Tuesday will help bridge a $34 million gap between what the city is currently able to spend on its annual street repair and what engineering experts have told the city it should spend.

Omaha should be spending $75 million a year to resurface its 5,000 lane miles once every 20 years, but it's currently able to spend $41 million.

The approval authorizes the city to increase the property tax rate by $35 for every $100,000 of valuation, but Stothert has previously said that that number is expected to be lower, perhaps an estimated $26.

Steve Curtiss, the city’s finance director, said Tuesday that the final number will depend on where interest rates stand when the city actually issues the general obligation bonds, which may not be until early 2022.

A one-time increase in the tax levy should allow the city to resurface every street in Omaha over a 20-year period.

Earlier this year, when Stothert first announced that she would ask the City Council to put the bond issue on the ballot, she said she thought it was important for citizens to decide how to fix and pay for Omaha’s streets.

“We can stop the deterioration of our infrastructure,” Stothert said. “But it will take all of us to agree that it’s worth the expense.”

On Tuesday, Omaha voters did just that.​

— Reece Ristau and Jeffrey Robb


8:52 p.m.

Eastman beats Ashford; Will get rematch against Bacon

Eastman Primary

Kara Eastman defeated fellow Democrat Ann Ashford in the party primary for the U.S. House of Representatives seat.

Kara Eastman will get her rematch with U.S. Rep. Don Bacon.

Eastman defeated fellow Democrat Ann Ashford in the party primary for the U.S. House of Representatives seat to advance to the November general election against the Republican incumbent Bacon.

In 2018, Eastman lost to Bacon by just under 5,000 votes — about 2%.

Two years ago, Eastman, a nonprofit executive, fired up grassroots progressives to upset former Congressman Brad Ashford — Ann’s husband — in the Democratic primary.

This time, the 48-year-old was running as the clear front-runner, again pushing progressive policies and mostly looking past her two primary opponents to a November rematch.

Ann Ashford, an attorney, had loaned her campaign more than $200,000 for an advertising push during the campaign’s final days.

In unofficial results Tuesday, Eastman was polling ahead of Ashford by almost a 2-to-1 margin.

Bacon, a 56-year-old retired Air Force brigadier general and former commander of Offutt Air Force Base, faced only token opposition in Tuesday's primary. He is seeking to be elected to a third term in the district.

— Jeffrey Robb



8:30 p.m.

A tight race forms in Board of Regents contest

Three candidates in a primary race for the University of Nebraska Board of Regents are in a tight race.

Candidates Mike Kennedy, Jack Stark and Viv Ewing are all within 711 votes, according to initial election night results. Kennedy had the early lead.

The top two will advance to the November election.

Howard Hawks is not seeking another term on the Board of Regents. He represents District 2, which includes much of Sarpy County and some of Douglas County.

Kennedy has served on the Millard Public Schools board for 18 years and had a spot on the Metro Community College board before that.

Stark is a psychologist who worked with the Husker football team during its national title stretch in the 1990s.

Viv Ewing has been a manager in nonprofits and is married to Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing.​

- Henry Cordes, Joe Dejka, Reece Ristau and Rick Ruggles


8:14 p.m.

As polls close, Eastman leads Ashford; Bond issues lead, too

Nebraska Primary Voting

A voter fills out his ballot at Nathan Hale Magnet Middle School in Omaha on Tuesday.

Kara Eastman took the lead over Ann Ashford in the Democratic primary race for the Omaha area House of Representatives seat.

Omaha’s $200 million street maintenance bond issue is well ahead.

Also leading is Millard Public Schools’ $125 million bond issue to fund school maintenance, renovation and safety projects.

In the first election night results out of Douglas County, Eastman was leading Ashford by a vote margin of almost 2-to-1.

Eastman is seeking a rematch against U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, the Republican incumbent who beat her by just under 5,000 votes — about 2% — in 2018. Bacon, a 56-year-old retired Air Force brigadier general and former commander of Offutt Air Force Base, faced only token opposition in Tuesday's primary.

The Omaha streets bond issue would generate $40 million more over the next five years to create a long-term program to repair and maintain roads across Omaha, in every City Council district and dozens of neighborhoods.

The projects would be spread across Omaha’s seven City Council districts. Projects on the priority list include 72nd Street from Pacific Street to Mercy Road, Blondo Street from 108th to 132nd Streets, 60th Street from Ames Avenue to the Northwest Radial and 120th Street between L Street and West Center Road.

If ultimately approved, residents can expect the first road work associated with the bond issue to begin this summer, Mayor Jean Stothert has said.

Millard’s bond issue doesn’t include new schools, focusing rather on maintenance and renovation.

Officials say the expenditures would be spread across the district’s buildings, but four schools are targeted for multimillion-dollar upgrades.

The district would spend $53.4 million on major renovations, $45.5 million on summer maintenance projects, $9 million on safety and security, and the rest on energy-efficiency projects and replacing furniture and capital equipment.

- Henry Cordes, Joe Dejka and Reece Ristau


2020 Nebraska primary voting

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Reporter - Metro News

Henry is a general assignment reporter, but his specialty is deep dives into state issues and public policy. He's also into the numbers behind a story, yet to meet a spreadsheet he didn't like. Follow him on Twitter @HenryCordes. Phone: 402-444-1130.

Reece covers Sarpy County for The World-Herald. He's a born-and-raised Nebraskan and UNL grad who spent time in Oklahoma and Virginia before returning home. Follow him on Twitter @reecereports. Phone: 402-444-1127

Joe covers education for The World-Herald, focusing on pre-kindergarten through high school. Phone: 402-444-1077.

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