Black Mother in Omaha: ‘Can This Be Real?’

Posted, 11:17 p.m. — One day after Americans chose Barack Obama — a black man — as their next president, Omaha resident and mother of two boys Deborah Bridgman — a black woman — said this: “Oh, my God.  Can this be real?”

Omahan Deb Bridgman says she feels that her vote influenced history.  BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box

Omahan Deb Bridgman says she feels that her vote influenced history. BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box

Bridgman, who before the election said Obama’s ascent would open the eyes of African-Americans to the possibilities in their lives, voted along with 52 percent of her fellow Omaha residents for Obama.

The Douglas County Election Commissioner on Wednesday said his office still was counting 9,000 absentee ballots, and would not declare a winner in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District until possibly next week.

A majority of voters in Douglas County, which overlays the city of Omaha, voted for Obama, but residents of suburban Sapry County, which makes up a small, but not inconsequential, part of the 2nd District, chose John McCain.

The latest count showed Obama trailing McCain by 569 votes out of more than 250,000 cast.  Up for grabs is the Omaha area’s one electoral vote.

Whether or not Obama wins the 2nd District, Bridgman said her vote influenced history.

“It matters,” she said.

Before the election, Bridgman had purchased an Obama bumper sticker she affixed to her gray minivan.  It read: “African Americans for Obama.”

Wednesday, Bridgman took a Magic Marker to the sticker.

It now reads: “Americans for Obama.”

— BY BRAD DAVIS

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