City Councilwoman Cyndi Lamm has officially announced her intention to run for Lincoln mayor.
Lamm announced her decision early Sunday online and by video on her website and social-media accounts, describing her teenage years, when she dropped out of high school and her later decisions to return to school and to college.
“I’ve lived in Lincoln a lot of years and I’m living proof of what we can accomplish in our city,” Lamm said in a news release about her candidacy. “There’s so much more we can do. That’s why I’m running to be your mayor.”
In her campaign news release, Lamm pointed to campaign themes — a need for tax relief, road repairs, affordable housing and transparency in city government.
Lamm, a Republican, is the second person to officially become a mayoral candidate.
Mayor Chris Beutler, a Democrat, announced in mid-March that he will run for a fourth term in the city’s spring election next year.
Lamm, who has represented northeast Lincoln on the City Council since 2015, said her “knowledge and experience in government will guide her efforts to improve roads and infrastructure, increase public safety and attract the new employers and diverse workforce needed to make the city’s economy stronger.
“I’ve lived in and have seen our city work from all sides,” Lamm said. “These experiences helped to shape my perspective, my principles and my priorities,” she said in the news release.
Lamm, an attorney with a private practice, previously served as a legislative aide in the Legislature and as a clerk for a Nebraska Supreme Court justice. While in college she also served as a legal writing adjunct instructor at the University of Nebraska College of Law.
As a teenager, Lamm dropped out of school and was homeless for a time in Lincoln before eventually completing her education and graduating with high distinction from UNL's College of Law.
Because of her life and educational experiences, Lamm said she has served in leadership roles with many charitable organizations, including the People’s City Mission, the Autism Family Network, the Advocacy Partnership for People with Special Needs and Child Evangelism Fellowship.
“To really accomplish change in our city, good people have to step up,” Lamm said. “Lincoln is a city where dreams can come true. I’ve lived it and I’m ready to lead.”
When some experimental campaign videos accidentally became public in mid-June, Lamm acknowledged that she was considering running, but wanted to wait until after city budget decisions before making up her mind.
Lamm said she is announcing now so people considering running for her northeast Lincoln council seat will have time to make a decision and plan a campaign. Lamm cannot run for mayor and for her council seat.
Lamm also said she wanted to announce before the Nov. 6 general election to make it clear she intends to run no matter what the voters decide about term limits and Mayor Beutler's candidacy.
If a proposal on the ballot to limit the Lincoln mayor to three consecutive terms is approved by voters, it would mean Beutler cannot run for re-election.
The mayor's race is nonpartisan, meaning no party labels are used on the ballot, and the top two candidates in the primary move to the general election regardless of party.
But both political parties are heavily involved in the race, in recruiting candidates and helping finance them.