Photo showcase: 2012 primary election night parties
• Results:Click here for Legislature; NU Regents; OPPD, MUD and OPS boards; Valley, Bennington and La Vista mayors; La Vista bond; and Bellevue City Council.
• Results: Douglas County Election Commissioner
• Results: Sarpy County Election Commissioner
• Results: Nebraska Secretary of State's Office
More World-Herald coverage: omaha.com/election
* * * * *
A scandal at Gretna City Hall has cost the mayor her job.
Mayor Sally McGuire finished last in Tuesday's primary. The election was held less than three weeks after State Auditor Mike Foley raised questions about a lack of oversight of city funds and questionable city expenses involving City Administrator Colleen Lawry, who was subsequently fired.
In Tuesday's primary, McGuire finished behind her three challengers: Kip Edmonds, Andy Harpenau and Jim Timmerman, a former Gretna councilman.
Timmerman, 56, the top vote-getter, and Edmonds, 46, will advance to the November general election. Andy Harpenau, who finished third, and McGuire will not advance.
In the wake of the auditor's report, McGuire fired Lawry, who has been charged with felony theft of city funds.
McGuire, 63, was seeking her second four-year term after running unopposed in 2008. She had served on the Gretna City Council from 1996 until 2008. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
Timmerman said city government needs to be “more open and honest with the citizens about what is going on.”
“We just basically need more oversight and leadership, and I am going to bring that leadership to the mayor's office,” he said Tuesday night.
Edmonds said McGuire has not done enough to attract new businesses to Gretna. “People definitely care about their city,” he said.
Timmerman and Edmonds said the community has been outraged by the ongoing investigation of Lawry's spending and has been energized to become more involved in city politics.
Last December, McGuire negotiated a contract with Lawry for a $90,184 salary, unrestricted use of a city-owned Chrysler Sebring, free health insurance and compensatory time off the job whenever Lawry worked more than eight hours a day.
The state auditor said the contract was part of a broader problem of relaxed financial oversight by the mayor and City Council. He said Lawry took excessive out-of-state travel and had unsubstantiated expense claims approved by the City Council.
Timmerman agreed with the auditor's findings. “Colleen (Lawry) was not reporting to anybody,” he said. “You should not be gone for week-long trips, and then submit a sentence or two in a report about what you did.”
* * * * *
• Legislature: Brenda Council is one of three incumbents facing difficult roads to keep their seats in Nebraska's nonpartisan Legislature. Sen. Paul Lambert of Plattsmouth came in just ahead of Bill Kintner of Papillion in District 2, south of the Omaha metro area. In District 21, on the northwest edge of Lincoln, Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm had a narrow lead over Mike Hilgers of Lincoln. (Full story)
• NU Regents: Setting the stage for high-profile races in November, former Mayor Hal Daub of Omaha was among the familiar names topping the list in Tuesday's primary for the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. (Full story)
• OPPD board: Voters will see familiar names when they cast ballots this fall for the Omaha Public Power District board. Incumbents Mike Cavanaugh and N.P. “Sandy” Dodge were the lead vote-getters, and they will face former Douglas County Commissioner George Mills and Tom Barrett, from a prominent family of Omaha Democrats. (Full story)
• MUD board: Voters on Tuesday selected two long-serving MUD board members, a labor-friendly candidate and a political unknown to square off in November for the Metropolitan Utilities District board. (full story)
• OPS board: A substitute teacher and a former state senator led a field of five Tuesday in a race for a seat on the Omaha Public Schools board representing far northwest Omaha. In a year of big changes for the district's leadership, the Subdistrict 12 seat is the most hotly contested of the six seats up for election on the Omaha district board. It's the only race with a primary election contest. (Full story)
• La Vista bond: Voters handily rejected a bond issue to build a multimillion dollar water park, and Waterloo nixed a move to second-class city status at the polls Tuesday. (Full story)
• Valley mayor: Mary Caffey lost her bid to serve a third term after finishing behind Carroll Smith and William Sager. (Full story)
• Bennington mayor: Mary Johnson will face Gary Sather for a council seat after deciding to step down from her current post. Brian Armstrong placed third in the three-person race. (Full story)
• Bellevue City Council: All three incumbents seeking re-election advanced to the November general election. (Full story)
• La Vista mayor: Doug Kindig, an incumbent, cruised into the November general election with 72 percent of the vote in a three-man race. (Full story)