Omaha, NE.—News Channel Nebraska has learned that former State Senator Theresa Thibodeau, following her narrow defeat in November, is poised to take the helm of the Douglas County Republican Party.
Thibodeau was one of several GOP candidates who struggled in Nebraska’s most populous county.
Despite a 59-41 statewide reelection landslide, Gov. Pete Ricketts lost Douglas— his home county—by 12,000 votes.
2nd District Rep. Don Bacon was also reelected but came up short in Douglas by 6,500 votes.
Thibodeau, who lost her District 6 seat in west-central Omaha by a mere 288 votes, confirms to News Channel Nebraska that she is running for the GOP’s top county spot and says the current chairman, Jon Tucker, is not seeking another term.
“I hope to obviously focus on the down-ballot candidates making sure that we have that grass roots campaign,” Thibodeau tells News Channel Nebraska. “Get out going door-to-door if they don’t have the funding for campaigns, local races do have a huge impact on your daily life. I give the example of property taxes.”
Thibodeau says in examining the results of her race and others it became clear that many voters ignored down-the-ballot contests, in effect voting for governor or Congress but skipping over races for state legislature, utility boards, and other lower profile positions.
In Douglas County Democrats barely outnumber Republicans. (As of Election Day there were 135,473 registered Democrats and 130,209 registered Republicans a difference of two percent, 51-49).
In addition to concentrating on key legislative races in 2020 Thibodeau says the 2021 races for Omaha mayor and city council are also on her radar. Thibodeau’s sister is Omaha City Council member—and fellow Republican—Aimee Melton.
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, also a Republican, is expected to seek a third term in 2021. The city council is currently made up of four Democrats and three Republicans.
At the moment it appears Thibodeau will go unchallenged during a vote of the county’s GOP Central Committee scheduled for Tuesday night.