During Kara Eastman's two runs for Congress in the Omaha-centered Nebraska congressional seat-- Blue America endorsed her both times-- I got to know her top staffer, Dave Pantos, pretty well and always thought that he should be running for office as well-- and he is. Dave is running for Douglas County Attorney (basically, the Omaha metro) against a former conservative Democrat who jumped to the dark side last year and became a full-on Trumpist. I asked to to tell DWT readers the parameters of the race in a guest post, which is directly below. If you like what he has to say and would like to see him win this office, please consider contributing to his campaign here.
Cleaning Up Douglas County, Nebraska
-by Dave Pantos
Our communities need prosecutorial reform-- now. I've been an attorney for 25 years, mostly right here in Nebraska, where I've led large organizations like Legal Aid of Nebraska (our statewide civil law firm for low income people), and I currently help folks with lower incomes fight eviction with the Tenant Assistance Project. For too long, racial injustices and failed philosophies have plagued our courts system. I’m running to be a part of the solution.
Douglas County deserves a prosecutor who knows what’s important-- and what’s not. It’s time we stop prosecuting minor offenses like marijuana possession. Our criminal justice system is broken-- and one of the best ways to fix it is to ensure our prosecutors use good sense and discretion when deciding which cases to pursue-- and which penalties to seek.
Our prisons are horribly overcrowded, but the current County Attorney continues to send people to prison for minor offenses. That shouldn’t surprise anyone-- incumbent Don Kleine is a Trump supporter. Despite the fact that Douglas County overwhelmingly rejected Donald Trump in the 2020 election, the County Prosecutor stands with Trump over the people of Douglas County.
In 2020, our current County Attorney, whom I am running against, decided against prosecuting a white man for homicide when he killed a young black man soon after the George Floyd killing, believing that it was self-defense. Then, when a grand jury found that he should be prosecuted for manslaughter, he personally attacked the special prosecutor and the grand jury as being "biased." We need to address this matter and bring our community back together. I will be the one to do it.
I’m running to serve the people of Douglas County as your next County Attorney. It would be my honor to earn your vote and your support.