Democrats’ Peace Plan: A Primary Problem

Omaha, NE.—A state Democratic Party peace plan is getting a loud no comment from a key player in the Omaha House race.

Over the weekend the party put in place new rules that in effect urge party leaders not to take sides in primaries—starting with the upcoming May 15 primary.

“The Nebraska Democratic Party is committed to remaining neutral in primaries,” says Chairwoman Jane Kleeb echoing the resolution which specifically says the party “does not support or condone the endorsement of a candidate over another by any County or State Chair…”

Enter that Omaha House race between former Congressman Brad Ashford and Kara Eastman, in which Douglas County Chair Crystal Rhoades has already endorsed Eastman—did so several months ago.

And in a January interview with News Channel Nebraska, Rhoades defended her support for Eastman insisting it was personal not political.

NCN: Aren’t you worried that after the primary the party might be divided.

Rhoades: No….People make endorsements all the time…the (Douglas) county party is not taking a stake. I’m not here speaking on behalf of them. I’m speaking only on behalf of myself.

“How naïve does she think Douglas County Democrats are?” wondered longtime Omaha Democrat Frank Barrett in a letter to the Omaha World-Herald.

“She endorses her candidate and then says the party is neutral. As chairwoman of the county party, Rhoades should have remained neutral. She is acting like President Trump, ignoring precedent and destroying tradition, all the while acting as the head of the county party,” said Barrett.

Begging two questions in the aftermath of the new rules:

  • Will Rhoades pull her endorsement?
  • If she does pull the endorsement how do you put the toothpaste back in the tube?

Contacted by News Channel Nebraska, Rhoades texted, “I’m not going to comment. Thanks for reaching out.”

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