Two Omaha sisters stood and cheered Thursday in front of white chairs on the White House South Lawn with fellow Republicans watching President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech.
Omaha City Councilwoman Aimee Melton and her sister, Douglas County Republican Party Chairwoman Theresa Thibodeau, watched Trump accept the 2020 GOP nomination.
They visited with Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts there and sat with Falls City, Nebraska, businessman Charles Herbster, a major agricultural supporter of Trump.
“The people are excited, optimistic and exuberant,” Melton said from the Republican National Convention’s final night in Washington. “This is absolutely incredible.”
Back home, at west Omaha’s Champions Run, more than 100 Republicans gathered for the evening.
They stood and chanted “Four More Years” as Trump walked out to speak.
They laughed at Trump’s jabs at Democrat Joe Biden. They clapped after his stump speech lines about “America First,” “border security” and the “greatest economy.”
Pat Stanosheck, 74, of Omaha said she enjoyed the speech, especially its message about Trump's "faith in God." She said she supports Trump because she believes that he will "restore the principles that our country was founded upon."
The local watch party included Rep. Don Bacon, State Sens. Lou Ann Linehan of Omaha and Julie Slama of Peru, Omaha City Councilman Rich Pahls and former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub.
The crowd cheered as Sgt. Anthony Conner, president of the Omaha police union, spoke, asking them to support Bacon and candidates backing law enforcement.
“In our state, we have state senators who have worked their butts off to protect law enforcement,” he said. “Our profession is under attack like never before.”
Several Omahans who have protested police brutality have questioned whether it’s appropriate for police union representatives to make such political appearances. They argue that such activities risk eroding public trust.
Bacon, who’s running this fall against Democrat Kara Eastman, told the GOP crowd that Trump can win reelection by stressing safety, security and his expertise in bringing the economy back.
Bacon said Republicans care more about protecting people and their property.
He said the American economy can’t afford higher taxes and more regulation under Democrats.
“From A to Z on policy, the answer is clear,” he said.
Nebraska Democratic Party Chairwoman Jane Kleeb said it was rich to hear Bacon say the GOP protects property, citing Republican support for the Keystone XL pipeline’s use of eminent domain.
Eastman and many local Democrats supporting Biden’s bid for the presidency have argued that the country can’t afford more years of the GOP or Bacon’s genuflecting to Trump.
They point to the more than 180,000 people dead from the coronavirus and high unemployment because of what they describe as the nation’s disjointed pandemic response.
“This week Nebraskans saw plenty of false attacks and made-for-TV spectacle — but no real solutions for the pressing issues facing working families,” Kleeb said.
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