Nebraska mayoral candidate Jean Stothert is a female candidate who has endured much maligning and some of the worst examples of sexism in politics.
Jean has been a conservative voice on the Omaha, Nebraska, City Council for the past 3 ½ years, fighting the Democratic mayor's increased fees and taxes as well as his close relationship with unions. Needless to say, unions are not supporting Jean's candidacy.
Jean came under vicious attacks from negative push polls, false mailers, vile and disgusting tweets and most recently an Omaha City Council colleague displaying a derogatory t-shirt about Jean. Both the t-shirt and the tweets were "some of the worst" examples of sexism in politics that Debbie Walsh, Director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, has ever seen. "This is just really beyond the pale and quite disgusting," said Walsh. Nebraska U. S. Senator Deb Fischer and former Governor Kay Orr both rushed to Jean's defense and, according to Senator Fischer, decry the "vile attacks" she is facing. Former Governor Orr describes the attacks as "both vile and dishonest" and calls for all conservative women across the country to answer the call to action by being willing to put a stop to such derogatory campaign tactics.
The Omaha World-Herald recently published an article illustrating the savage treatment Jean has been receiving as a conservative female candidate trying to become the first female mayor of Omaha in city history. Jean's campaign points out the difficulty female candidates can encounter when outrageous, sexist claims are made against them.
The Associated Press now reports that as the only woman in the race for mayor, candidate Stouthert, a conservative Republican Omaha city councilwoman, has not only come in first in the primary election race in a crowded field of candidates, but she garnered 32 percent of the vote compared to 24 percent for the incumbent Democrat mayor. The race between Stouthert and the incumbent Democrat to lead Nebraska's largest city will be decided in the May 14 general election.
Stouthert's first place finish is very impressive where there were nearly 111,850 registered Democrats eligible to vote compared with approximately 99,700 Republicans and 62,800 nonpartisan and third-party voters.
It is difficult to get women to run for political office for this very reason. Women are subjected to abuse on the campaign trail not experienced by male candidates. It is good to see other women politicians coming to her defense and supporting Stouthert's efforts. Best of all is the result of the primary election.