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Longtime Omaha councilman at risk of losing seat in election with few other City Council shake-ups

Longtime Omaha councilman at risk of losing seat in election with few other City Council shake-ups

One incumbent on Omaha’s City Council was in danger of losing his seat, though some outstanding ballots were left to be counted.

Three-term Councilman Ben Gray trailed political newcomer Juanita Johnson by more than 800 votes, according to unofficial results, in what may ultimately be the upset of the election. Gray finished more than 1,000 votes ahead of Johnson in April’s primary.

Below are unofficial results for each of the seven districts as of Wednesday morning:

District 1

Incumbent Pete Festersen cruised to a fourth term over challenger Sarah Johnson. District 1 includes Dundee, Benson and Florence.

District 2

Juanita Johnson appeared poised to upset Ben Gray in a district covering northeast Omaha.

District 3

Danny Begley built on his performance in the primary and led fellow first-time council candidate Cammy Watkins. Begley would replace incumbent Chris Jerram, who did not seek reelection in a district representing the downtown and midtown areas.

District 4

Vinny Palermo handily bested Becky Barrientos-Patlan and will represent the South Omaha district for a second term.

District 5

Don Rowe held a healthy lead over Patrick Leahy for a seat representing southwest Omaha, including the Millard area. Rowe would replace Colleen Brennan, who was appointed to the seat in January but failed to advance in the April primary.

District 6

Incumbent Brinker Harding sailed to a second term with a lopsided victory over challenger Naomi Hattaway. District 6 includes Elkhorn and west-central Omaha.

District 7

In a fiercely contested race to represent northwest Omaha, two-term incumbent Aimee Melton maintained a significant lead over Sara Kohen.


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