Monday, January 30, 2012

Brad Ashford Will Run for Mayor in 2013!

It's only 442 days (April 16, 2013) until Omahans go to the polls to whittle down their mayoral candidates to two in preparation of the May 14, 2013 general election.   At this point there are a lot of names out there but we can tell you today that one of those will be Brad Ashford, now State Senator Brad Ashford who is term limited and is out of government work as of January 1, 2013(We stand corrected, 2015).   But not for long if he gets his way.   Yes, we have learned from several reliable sources that Ashford is planning his run for mayor as we write this.

You may recall that Ashford has shed his R.I.N.O. (Republican in Name Only) title only recently with his change of voting status to 'independent' or 'non-partisan'.   That change just made official the vacillation that has characterized his political career, moving from Democrat to Republican and now to nothing.  

So at this point, it is for sure that Ashford will face Suttle who has every intention of running for re-election.   Interestingly, Ashford's change and his antipathy for anything Republican, or Democrat for that matter, will put him in a strange position as he looks for votes.   While the mayor's office is officially non-partisan, both the Republicans and Democrats will have 'their' candidates in the race and both parties will be actively and energetically involved in working for and financially supporting their candidates.

Ashford can probably expect the support of the local daily which displays its adoration for him at every given opportunity.   He will have some big players who will make token contributions to his campaign, but most of those will continue to support Suttle, recognizing that if a challenger were to beat him they could quickly make amends financially. 

Ashford ended 2011 with $16,479 in his legislative campaign fund after raising only $2,250 last year.   With a sixty day legislative session there probably aren't a lot of 'potential contributors' he can extort money from for supporting their bills.   And, most people aren't going to give him money for 2013 with a 2012 campaign season under way.   So where does an independent already underfunded soon-to-be-ex-senator (term-limited) go for big bucks?   Nowhere.

Who the Republicans will run is still open.   Dave Nabity no doubt plans on running given his non-stop ego-maniacal campaign for the office since Suttle's inauguration.   We believe that Councilwoman Stothert, Councilman Thompson or former Councilman Dan Welch would be very credible candidates who bring competence and certainly much less arrogance and baggage to the race than Nabity.  A competent Republican will bring much support from the business community and the public considering Suttle's tax and spend history and Ashford's public support for the same, i.e., increasing city sales taxes to 7.5%.

Given that those who vote in primaries are generally very liberal or very conservative, our prognosis for Ashford is that he will simply crash and burn.  But for the time being the race is joined.

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