Omaha mayor's race tops half-million dollar mark - Omaha.com
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 1:21 pm
Omaha mayor's race tops half-million dollar mark

More than a half-million dollars has already been spent in a five-way Omaha mayoral race that has yet to kick into high gear, state campaign filings show.

The candidates collectively raised nearly $1.4 million last year, and the race is on pace to be the most expensive in city history.

“It's obvious we're going to break all spending records for a mayor's race. That goes without saying,” said Paul Landow, a political science professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Mayor Jim Suttle, a Democrat, led all candidates with nearly $365,000 in donations, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission.

He also led the way in spending. His committee, formed in 2008, went through about $242,000 in 2012.

More than $75,000 of the mayor's spending went to Prairie Strategies, the mayor's Omaha-based campaign consultant team. The company received at least one payment each month.

div style="float: right; width: 225px; margin: 25px 0 25px 25px; border-left: 1px dotted #ccc; padding-left: 25px; color: #000; font-size: 14px;">

Candidate finances

Jim Suttle
Raised: $364,777
Spent: $242,642

Jean Stothert
Raised: $335,998
Spent: $95,267

Dan Welch
Raised: $282,722
Spent: $54,610

Dave Nabity
Raised: $274,331
Spent: $102,913

Brad Ashford
Raised: $161,744
Spent: $47,164

Other top recipients of money from the mayor's campaign include: Power Thru of Richmond, Vt., for consulting and advertising; Grassroots Solutions of Minneapolis for consulting; and Noelle Obermeyer for consulting and various reimbursements.

That Suttle's campaign committee has remained active shows that his challengers are in for a fight, Landow said. Other candidates' committees formed last summer.

“The mayor has had consultants on retainer the entire time he's been in office, which likely means they are highly organized, geared up and ready to run for re-election,” he said.

The campaign fund also is used to reimburse the mayor for job-related expenses. Those reimbursements came to about $9,000 last year.

The second-biggest spender was businessman Dave Nabity.

Nabity, one of three Republicans in the officially nonpartisan race, raised about $274,000 and spent $103,000.

The top recipient at $30,000 was Ravun LLC, an Omaha-based consultant. St. Paul-based Voyageur Co. was the second-largest recipient at about $28,500 for consulting and artwork.

Nabity said his campaign had to spend money to catch up with other candidates. He is the only candidate who has never held public office.

“We had to start from scratch,” he said. “For us it's getting the staff working early to build the campaign. We had to bring on the right people to start building momentum for the campaign from a very early stage.”

Suttle and Ashford were the only candidates who began the fundraising period, the 2012 calendar year, with cash in the bank.

City Councilwoman Jean Stothert spent about $95,000. Dan Welch, a former council president, and State Sen. Brad Ashford each spent around $50,000.

At the end of 2012, Stothert had the most left in her war chest with $240,000. Welch, Suttle and Nabity followed. Ashford reported the least cash on hand, with nearly $150,000.

The primary will be held in April. The top two candidates will advance to the general election in May.

Landow said he believes Suttle will make it to May. The collective $1 million raised by challengers so far, he said, shows that whoever survives the primary will have no problem raising money.

“There's a lot of people with money to contribute interested in defeating Suttle,” Landow said.

Contact the writer:

402-444-3144, matt.wynn@owh.com

Contact the writer: Matt Wynn

matt.wynn@owh.com    |   402-444-3144    |  

Matt does document- and data-driven stories and builds things for the Web that leverage both.

Read more related stories
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
High court denies death row appeal of cult leader convicted of murder
State Department moves to delay Keystone XL pipeline decision
Haze in area comes from Kansas, Oklahoma
Man taken into custody in domestic dispute
Omaha judge reprimanded for intervening in peer attorney's DUI case
Intoxicated man with pellet gun climbs billboard's scaffold; is arrested
Police seek public's help in finding an armed man
Saturday forecast opens window for gardening; Easter egg hunts look iffy on Sunday
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
A voice of experience: Ex-gang member helps lead fight against Omaha violence
Church is pressing its case for old Temple Israel site
OPPD board holding public forum, open house May 7
The thrill of the skill: Omaha hosts statewide contest for students of the trades
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
New UNO center strengthens ties between campus, community
Threat found in Millard West bathroom deemed 'not credible'
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »