Mayor Jean Stothert, Omaha (R): “Clearly Mike McDonnell does not understand the funding mechanism for the streetcar or the role of the mayor.”

State Sen. Mike McDonnell, Omaha (R): “I’m opposed to the streetcar but I’m also trying to be fair. And say if there’s more information out there that I have not and others have not received, please tell us.”

Mayor Jean Stothert and likely mayoral hopeful State Sen. Mike McDonnell battling on KFAB radio over Omaha’s controversial, multi-multi-million-dollar streetcar.

As News Channel Nebraska first reported, in a letter to Stothert and the City Council, McDonnell is calling for the city to put the issue on the upcoming November ballot.

According to McDonnell the streetcar is “either a tool for the future growth of the city as proponents suggest, or a financial boondoggle as opponents claim.”

Just last month Stothert told me this:

May 20/Mayor Jean Stothert, Omaha (R):  “A vote of the people is not necessary for something like the streetcar because the people, the taxpayers, are not paying for it.” 

Jordan: “Even if it’s a high price tag?”

Stothert: “Even if it’s a high price tag.”

And this week in her letter back to McDonnell, Stothert again rejected a vote of the people and told McDonnell, “Your letter perpetuates the myth that the streetcar will cause financial ruin for the City. That is simply not true. Do you not support the continued growth and momentum of Omaha?”

The unofficial 2025 GOP primary between Republicans Stothert and McDonnell is off and running.