City Councilwoman Cyndi Lamm, who is considering running for mayor, says she was not involved and did not know about the term limits petition drive now circulating in Lincoln.
Lamm, a Republican, said Thursday morning she hadn’t yet seen the petition seeking to limit the Lincoln mayor to three terms and hasn’t spoken to any of the organizers listed on the petition material.
In an earlier news release, the state Democratic Party called on Lamm to "publicly declare her team had no involvement whatsoever in any aspect of the term limits petition drive."
The campaign to put a term limit question on the Nov. 6 general election ballot is seen as a Republican Party effort to block Mayor Chris Beutler, a Democrat, from running for a fourth term next spring.
Three active Republicans — J.L. Spray, Republican national committeeman; Robert Synhorst, former executive director of the state party; and Faith White, secretary of the Lancaster County Republican Party — are all listed on documents filed with the City Clerk's office last month as initial contributors to the petition campaign.
"The latest childish move by the Republicans is partisan politics at its very worst," the Democrats' release said.
"The petition sponsors aren’t even trying to hide the fact that the intent of the petition is to keep Chris Beutler’s name off the ballot. They can’t beat Chris Beutler in an election so instead, they offer a deceitful, dishonest political ploy to take away the right of Lincoln voters to choose their Mayor,” State Democratic Chair Jane Kleeb said in the news release.
In response, Lamm says she did not know anything about the petition campaign nor the group bringing it forward.
And Lamm says term limits aren't necessary to beat Beutler. In her opinion any candidate the Republicans bring forward could defeat the three-term mayor.
“He has increased spending, raised taxes and sued the City Council to make it raise taxes. That’s a record that I believe can be beat,” she said in a text response to the Democrats' news release.
The petition campaign needs fewer than 4,000 signatures of registered voters to get the question on the November ballot, according to Lancaster County Election Commissioner Dave Shively.
Lamm has said previously she is considering running for the mayor's office in the spring 2019 city election but did not want to make any decision until after the council wraps up budget decisions this summer.
Last month, videos of Lamm giving her reasons for wanting to be mayor were posted to the internet.
Lamm said she made the video several months ago as she was contemplating a campaign.