This Tuesday, Democrats in Lincoln, Nebraska gave a masterclass in how to punch above your weight. Despite there being more registered Republicans than Democrats in the city, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird defended her seat and won re-election by 8 points.
The Mayor’s win wasn’t the only one of the night either, as Democrats won three out of four city council seats, and brought out the brooms for a clean sweep of the School Board races.
This moment represents an unequivocal denial of the GOP’s campaign of fear-mongering, distrust, millionaire money and negativity. Lincoln Democrats, Independents, and enlightened Republicans coalesced and came together to beat Suzanne Geist.
Unity and hope beat hate and division.
Lincoln’s municipal elections are the last in the state of Nebraska before the 2024 primaries, which seem a lifetime away.
Suzanne Geist will not be the last MAGA extremist that runs, and it is important to harness the momentum and energy from this election as campaigns, party officials, and volunteers alike work to build a foundation for success in 2024.
Hopefully, Republicans learned their lesson about one thing at least– and that’s billboards. Even though Suzanne Geist lost by double the expected margin and is now unemployed, the Lincoln billboard industry may have been Tuesday’s biggest loser.
I have absolutely zero faith that the Republican party has learned their lesson on ideology, despite Nebraskans showing time and time again that they will reject extremist candidates who are beholden to corporate interests. However, I have full, 100% faith, that no Nebraska Republican candidate will ever burn that money on billboards ever again.
The Mayor’s race not only showed that a coalition of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans are willing to come together to reject hate– but also, they are eager to do so. The Lincoln elections saw record turnout, with almost 45% of registered voters turning out to vote.
It is critical that we work to not only maintain, but expand upon this coalition. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy winning just as much as the next guy, but Democrats cannot afford to get complacent. Winning races in this state is an uphill battle, and while this win is a huge push in the right direction, we’re not over the top of the hill yet.
Masterclass: How to Waste $2 Million
It is no secret that Suzanne Geist was beholden to fat-cat millionaires’ interests, not those of her potential constituents. The Peed and Ricketts families spent approximately $2 million dollars on this race.
Now to me, a bad investment is when I spend $1.89 on a bundle of bananas and only eat half of them. To spend $2 million on a candidate who loses by a record margin is… well… quite the financial investment.
In memoriam of the $2 million that suffered a fateful waste, I decided to look at what positive change $2 million could provide. All numbers are approximations.
- 781,250 gallons of milk
- 727,272 school lunch meals– or a whole year of meals for approximately 4,500 kids
- 57,142 potholes filled
- 1,679 months of rental assistance
- 214 veterans’ annual medical expenses
- 117 semesters of tuition at UNL
- 32 electric cars
- 0 Lincoln Mayoral Races won for MAGA extremists
- And a partridge in a pear tree
To Senator Ricketts, the Peed family, and the Geist campaign- I offer sincerest condolences at the loss of your $2 million…at least Lamar billboards made some benjamins.
In 2008, then Senator of my great state of Illinois Barack Obama ran a campaign founded on one key principle– Hope. Yet, 15 years later, President Obama’s original campaign message represents a value that all Americans are yearning for. In a time of politics that is so divisive and unforgiving, it is important to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The elections in Lincoln give hope to Nebraskans. Despite Democrats being outnumbered in Lincoln, record turnout and enthusiasm carried the values that we hold true to victory.
There was an exceptionally great slate of candidates, campaign teams, and volunteers that made this possible– but there is no reason that this framework cannot be utilized in every congressional district, city, village, and school board across the state.
Congratulations to all winning candidates– Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird, Councilman James Michael Bowers, Councilman-Elect Justin Carlson, Councilman-Elect Brodey Weber, School Board Member-Elect Piyush Srivistav, and School Board Members Annie Mumgaard and School Board Member Bob Rauner (an Independent we support!). We also extend our congratulations to all of the candidates who did not see their preferred result– you all fought hard campaigns and were great representatives for the values of the party.
The momentum from these campaigns is invaluable– but when going against the GOP, money matters. Please consider becoming a monthly donor to help build the framework for victories in 2024!
On a final note, and as mentioned in last week’s communication, Democrats from across the region will participate in the Cinco de Mayo festivities in South Omaha. We will be walking as proud Democrats with Senator Tony Vargas during the parade AND we will be hosting an informational booth on Saturday and Sunday, May 13th and 14th. We welcome you to come walk with us or volunteer to help out for a shift in our booth. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
To sign up to walk the parade https://www.mobilize.us/nebdems/event/562124/
To sign up for a booth shift https://www.mobilize.us/nebdems/event/561253/
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All the best,