Lincoln City Elections: GOP Is Dangerous

When the Democrats swept the Lincoln city elections in 2019, the local economy was booming and there appeared to be blue skies ahead. However, in 2020, we were hit with the world’s worst pandemic since 1918 and our Democratic city government was tested as never before.

Fortunately for the people of Lincoln, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and the five Democrats on the City Council rose to the occasion. Gaylor Baird and the Democrats made the tough choices by implementing a mask mandate and a Covid emergency declaration. All of this was done over the bitter opposition of right wing city council member Roy Christensen, Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Republican Party.

Those decisions turned out to be correct ones and Lincoln has made tremendous headway in mitigating the pandemic. Mayor Gaylor Baird recently announced on her social media accounts: “After being in mid-yellow for nine consecutive weeks, the COVID-19 Risk Dial moved to low-yellow. That’s the first time the dial has been this low since it was created nearly a year ago. More than 107,000 individuals in Lincoln and Lancaster County have rolled up their sleeves and been fully vaccinated. That’s nearly 44% of those who are eligible — the highest percentage in the state!”

The Democrats have kept Lincoln safer and healthier than the rest of Nebraska. According to the Mayor: “Among the five largest counties in Nebraska, Lancaster has the lowest per-capita rate of COVID-19 cases and the second-lowest per-case death rate…If the county’s case rate was the same as the state’s average, it would have about 5,000 more cases to date and if it was the same as Douglas County’s rate, it would have had about 8,000 more cases.”

The Mayor correctly contended that: “This data shows that we have made a difference by our individual and collective actions, such as requiring masks earlier than any other county and having more-restrictive directed health measures.” Thanks to that progress, the city is now able to relax many of the pandemic directed health measures.

All of these positive trends are now at risk on election day on May 4. Lincoln’s radical Republicans are running on an extreme platform that would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the war against Covid-19.

Roy Christensen, Mary Hilton and Eric Burling would end the mask mandate and social distancing requirements. These extremists would end the Emergency Declaration — which would cost Lincoln millions of dollars in federal relief funds. If they win the election and get their way, Lincoln would have the worst of both worlds: a higher incidence of illness and fewer resources to fight it.

And that’s not all — their out of touch agenda would make Lincoln a poorer and much less welcoming community. Christensen has described gay marriage as “an assault on society.” Hilton shares this reactionary view.

Christensen has also proposed a fantasy budget that would wreck Lincoln’s finances. The GOP incumbent city council member has a budget that proposes lower taxes and more services at the same time. Christensen is simply playing the voters for chumps with this ridiculous idea.

The very independence of the city is threatened by Lincoln’s radical Republicans. Apparently, Governor Pete Ricketts’s ambitions aren’t limited to control of the non-partisan legislature — he would like to extend his hostile takeover to Lincoln. It has been revealed that Christensen’s largest donor is Ricketts.

A Republican and Ricketts take over would wreck all of this hard earned progress in the fight against Covid-19. A Republican victory would cause a resurgence in covid-19 cases and cost the city millions of dollars. We can’t afford to take that risk.

Vote for Bennie Shobe, Sandra Washington and Tom Beckius on May 4. The stakes are too high for you to stay home!

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