Don Rowe appeared headed for a victory over Patrick Leahy in Omaha's District 5 City Council race Tuesday.
Don Rowe and Patrick Leahy will advance to the general election to compete to represent southwest Omaha’s District 5. And in North Omaha's District 2, incumbent Ben Gray will face Juanita Johnson.
It was too close to call the race in Omaha's District 5 Tuesday night, but incumbent City Councilwoman Colleen Brennan appeared to have lost her seat on the Omaha City Council months after being appointed.
The candidates say the district could benefit from better public transportation, among other points of agreement. But they vary on how to address the pandemic recovery, policing and other issues.
Scott Blake cites a state law that says "remaining members" shall vote to fill vacancies and points to precedent. But interim City Attorney Matt Kuhse defended the council's vote on Colleen Brennan.
Those seeking the southwest Omaha seat include business people, a retired police captain, a union stagehand and an architect.
Blog posts written by Colleen Brennan, the woman chosen to replace outgoing Omaha City Councilman Rich Pahls, have ignited a tense conversation on race.
Voters have a duty to deliberate carefully and make sound judgments when choosing candidates to serve on the City Council. That obligation applies to the council itself when it must fill a vacancy.
Colleen Brennan also penned an essay on race in which she said White people want to know "why African Americans don’t stop the adoration of gangs, crime and violence when they are the disproportionate victims of it."
Six of the applicants also have requested the necessary paperwork to run for the District 5 seat during the city's spring election.
Colleen Brennan is criticizing the leader of the state party for suggesting she might put her own name on the 2018 ballot. Preston Love Jr., another Ward campaign adviser, said Friday that he was working on a “peace treaty” of sorts and was optimistic that the campaign and party could come to an agreement.