Omaha, NE.—Nine days after announcing her campaign for governor, Vanessa Ward is being told to call it quits.
Ward’s campaign manager Preston Love tells News Channel Nebraska he has personally advised Ward to “not continue her campaign” because they have not been able to raise the money needed to wage a viable battle.
Love says Ward is considering his recommendation, she has not been available for comment.
This latest development is likely to renew talk that independent State Sen. Bob Krist, who is currently running a 3rd party campaign for governor, should team up with Nebraska Democrats to challenge Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts in November.
All this at a time when News Channel Nebraska has learned of a major split in the party over Ward’s candidacy.
This latest case finds several members of the party upset with Ward’s views on sex discrimination and gay rights.
According to sources and information obtained by NCN, Vanessa Ward’s 2012 opposition to a City of Omaha ordinance that bans job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, is fostering “deep” division within the ranks. Love confirms that the “LGBT community” has been bothered by Ward’s stance on the issue.
Ward not only opposed the ordinance—which passed the council and was signed by then-Mayor Jim Suttle—she spoke against it (see video above) during the council’s public hearing.
“I’m here to say I oppose it,” said Ward. The community organizer who was fighting crime in her north Omaha neighborhood adding, “I’m not here to discriminate…but I’ve got to continue to do what I know works and that’s to keep uplifting Nebraska being the good life: Mom, dad, children.”
Despite those comments City Council President Ben Gray, who initiated the ordinance, is backing Ward’s campaign.
“I’m not concerned at all. We’ve got a governor (Pete Ricketts) now that doesn’t support my ordinance, as long as they don’t mess with the ordinance I’m okay.”
This latest flap comes on the heels of a News Channel Nebraska investigation which found that Ward, who joined the Democratic Party in December, did little if anything to help the party the last decade.
She not only voted for Republican Mayor Jean Stothert in last spring’s Omaha elections, Ward did a commercial touting Stothert’s reelection over Democrat Heath Mello.
After years as a registered independent—who failed to vote in several key state and federal elections, including the 2010 and 2014 governor’s races as well as the Obama wins in 2008 and 2012—Ward switched to the Democratic Party in December.