The Bellevue City Council might have another vacancy on its hands if Carol Blood gets her way.
Carol Blood announced Sunday she will run for the District 3 seat in the Legislature in the 2014 election. She said she will also submit an application to be considered for appointment by Gov. Dave Heineman to the now-vacant seat.
Bellevue resident Scott Price has represented District 3, but he submitted his resignation effective Friday citing personal reasons for leaving the Legislature.
Heineman is accepting applications for the seat through Nov. 22, although the governor is not obligated to choose an appointee from among those who apply. Whomever is appointed will serve until Jan. 6, 2015, after which a November 2014 election will put someone in the seat for a two-year term.
That means if the person appointed successfully runs in 2014, they will have to return to the ballot in 2016 before completing a full term in the Legislature.
District 3 encompasses the area roughly north of Capehart Road between 25th and 60th streets as well as the area between Highway 370 and Platteview Road between 60th and 84th streets.
Blood said she wanted to run for the Legislature in 2012, but her gut told her it would be wrong to challenge Price, who lived on the same street as Blood for years. She said she had intended to serve out her full four-year term on the council.
“The window of opportunity has brought itself so that I have to run now,” Blood said. “I don’t expect an appointment; I expect to work for that position regardless of what the circumstances are.”
Although the Legislature is officially nonpartisan, Blood is a registered Democrat while Price is a registered Republican. Blood said she would continue Price’s stance of helping area veterans if she wins the seat, whether through appointment or election.
One way Blood said she would differ from Price is by placing a stronger emphasis on supporting business. She said her past experience, which includes serving as executive director of the former La Vista Area Chamber of Commerce and working as a business consultant, would help her to bring “more of a pro-business view to the position.”
Blood characterized herself not along party lines but as a fiscal conservative, raised in a working-class family, who acts independently and impartially for the best interest of those she represents.
“The one thing I haven’t forgotten is who I serve,” Blood said.
Her record on the Bellevue City Council, however, has found her defending against attacks from political opponents who have accused her of being a polarizing force. She is a frequent subject of criticism by a group of residents who regularly speak out against City Hall.
Blood said she doesn’t consider herself to be a typical politician, and she views her political career as one of public service. She said she works hard, and she tries to remain focused on the positive and keep moving forward.
“I’m probably the Pollyanna candidate, and I know that,” Blood said. “They can’t ever deny that I didn’t fight for the things that I thought were right and were best for Bellevue, and I want to do that in Lincoln.”
Among her accomplishments on the council, she highlights fiscal responsibility, which has included not spending money from her council expense account, striving to preserve jobs during recent budget cuts and preventing the city from participating in a marketing campaign she deemed a “scam.”
Working with a committee that includes state Sen. Heath Mello, Blood helped enact legislation to address vacant properties, and she notes improvements in Bellevue in tearing down old buildings. She also helped launch a farmers market in Olde Towne, which she said has built up the area’s sense of community.
Her biggest achievement, she said, was pushing for a strategic plan for the City of Bellevue. She also led opposition to a wheel tax that the City of Omaha wanted to impose on motorists from surrounding communities, including in Sarpy County, without providing representation.
Blood said she plans to submit her application for appointment to the District 3 seat in about a week. She said she has about 50 letters from area business owners and residents she will include in the submission.
“I hit the ground running wherever I go,” Blood said. “I learn the ropes quickly, I do my research and I work hard.”