Suttle claims victory


January 25th, 2011

Update: With all precincts reporting, the final vote tally of the night was 37,198 in favor of the recall, and 38,841 opposed. That means Suttle will stay in office, with a margin of 1,643 votes, a 51/49 split. A total of 76,039 votes were cast in the recall election.

Suttle beat Tuesday's recall election by a slim margin of 1,643 votes (Photo courtesy Mayor's Office)

In an interview with KVNO News, Mayor Suttle said he’s ready to get back to work. His next priorities, he said, will be “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

“We need to bring investment into our city,” he said. “We need to bring the 30% unemployment down on the north side to a reasonable level. To do that will be a great achievement, and will restore our tax base and make it stronger and stronger.”

Listen Now:

Omaha, NE – Omahans are heading to the polls today to decide whether to keep their Mayor in office. Jim Suttle, meanwhile, is warning a recall could destabilize the city.

Polling places around the city saw a steady flow of traffic, as Omahans headed to the polls to decide whether to keep Jim Suttle in office (Photo Angel Martin)

“It’s definitely become a discussion point for all of Omaha,” said Jeremy Aspen, the spokesman for the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee. Aspen said he’s excited voting day has finally arrived. “Everyone has an opinion and it looks like a lot of people are going out to vote.”

Aspen’s committee set the recall in motion in November by gathering almost 29,000 validated signatures that put Suttle’s name back on the ballot. Petition signers cited tax hikes and a series of bad decisions from the Mayor’s office, Aspen said. But in midtown Omaha, where voter traffic was steady, Omahan Erica Mosher said she voted against the recall. She was originally for it, she said, but she called the Mayor directly, and he changed her mind.

“I was very anti- keeping him in office,” she said, but believed his sincerity on the phone. “You can hear it in their voice if they mean it or not,” she said, “and he did.”

But Omahan Patrick Tull said he expected voters to be angry at the Mayor. His financial decisions have been irresponsible, he said, since he first took office.

“I’m not surprised,” he said. “Even though it costs money to do this, the way they have been spending money, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

In an interview earlier Tuesday with KVNO News, Suttle defended his record, saying he has brought financial stability to the city. And that stability, he said, requires consistent leadership.

“I’ve been making the tough decisions where nobody else would,” Suttle said. “If we go into a period of four, five or six months with four different mayors, potentially four different mayors, we will lose all kinds of momentum.”

“Nothing will get done until probably a good year after the final mayor is put into place.”

The polls close around the city at 8pm. Election results are expected by 10pm, if it’s not too close to call.

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