First up in our look at the three City Council districts with competitive primary races: South Omaha’s District 4.
The race features two lifelong South Omahans who spent decades with the Omaha Police Department and a newcomer to the area who has run for other offices with the Socialist Workers Party.
Councilman Garry Gernandt, who has represented the district since 2001, is touting his work on building business districts, his efforts to launch efforts to combat graffiti and rundown properties and his leadership on the move to get a 3-1-1 phone line to assist residents with city services.
Fellow retired police officer Virgil Patlan says people in his district are looking for new leadership and he wants to make some changes. Among them: send the city’s equal employment ordinance to a vote, repeal the cigarette tax and get rid of the rules requiring contractors to pay a fee and take tests before operating in the city.
Assembly worker Jacob Perasso is a California native who got involved with the Socialist Workers Party when he was in college. He’s lived across the country, working in packinghouses and manufacturing plants, including in Omaha for about a year, around 2007. He moved back to the area last summer and said he want to overhaul the way public services are distributed, particularly in areas like South Omaha.