As the largest city in the state of Nebraska, Omaha is a hub of political activity and a key player in the state's political landscape. With a population of over 470,000 people, Omaha is a diverse and dynamic city that has seen its fair share of political changes and controversies over the years.
The History of Politics in OmahaOmaha has a long history of political involvement, dating back to its early days as a frontier town. In the late 1800s, Omaha was a hotbed of political activity, with the rise of powerful political bosses and the emergence of labor unions. This era also saw the formation of the Populist Party, which gained significant support in Omaha and other parts of Nebraska. In the early 20th century, Omaha became known as a center for progressive politics, with leaders like George W.
Norris and William Jennings Bryan making their mark on the national stage. However, this progressive era was short-lived, as conservative forces gained control in the 1920s and 1930s. Throughout the mid-20th century, Omaha remained a stronghold for the Republican Party, with many influential politicians hailing from the city. However, in recent years, Omaha has become more politically diverse, with a growing number of Democrats and Independents making their voices heard.
The Current Political ClimateToday, Omaha is considered a battleground city in both state and national elections. In the 2020 presidential election, Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District (which includes Omaha) was one of only two districts in the entire country to split its electoral votes between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. At the state level, Nebraska's unicameral legislature is officially nonpartisan, but in reality, it is dominated by Republicans.
However, Democrats have made significant gains in recent years, with a growing number of seats held by members of the Democratic Party. One of the most significant political issues in Omaha is the ongoing debate over racial justice and police reform. In 2020, the city saw widespread protests following the death of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement. This has sparked a heated debate over the role of police in the community and calls for reform.
The Key PlayersThere are several key players in Omaha's political landscape, including elected officials, community leaders, and grassroots organizations. Here are a few of the most influential figures:
Mayor Jean StothertAs the first female mayor of Omaha, Jean Stothert has been a prominent figure in local politics since her election in 2013. A Republican, Stothert has focused on issues such as public safety, economic development, and infrastructure during her time in office.
Senator Ben SasseBen Sasse is one of Nebraska's two U.
S. Senators and a rising star in the Republican Party. He has gained national attention for his conservative views and outspoken criticism of President Trump.
Senator Deb FischerThe other U. Senator from Nebraska is Deb Fischer, a Republican who has served since 2013. Fischer has focused on issues such as agriculture, transportation, and national security during her time in office.
Senator Ernie ChambersErnie Chambers is a longtime state senator who has been a vocal advocate for racial justice and police reform.
He has served in the Nebraska Legislature for over 40 years and is known for his fiery speeches and unapologetic stance on controversial issues.