By: Cole Miller
We're just four days away from the City Council election and Democrats have put Republican candidate Mark Whitehead in the spotlight. They want to know why gas prices are higher in Lincoln than in Omaha.
Prices at the pump and the Lincoln City Council. The two may seem unrelated, but Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Vince Powers doesn't think so.
Especially when a council candidate, Mark Whitehead, is in the oil business.
"If you want to govern us, why won't you tell us why you charge so much more for gas prices," Powers asked of Whitehead.
Powers says all you have to do it look at the difference in gas prices between Omaha versus Lincoln, saying prices up there are 10 to 15 cents cheaper. Whitehead says you simply can't compare the two cities.
"We don't benchmark off of other markets because that's not where we compete. We compete right here in Lincoln," Whitehead said.
Then there's the debate of where the product comes from.
"We know they get their gas from the same terminal," Powers said.
We know that those prices are the same or within half a cent of each other. We know that the only explanation would be he's gouging."
Whitehead disagrees, saying that Omaha and Lincoln use different terminals. Even if he wanted to set the price, he says he owns less than a quarter of the market.
Whitehead says it's a game of politics.
"He's supporting other candidates in this political race and he's throwing things against the wall to see what sticks, however unfounded they may be."
Whitehead is one of three Republican candidates running for City Council. There are three open seats. The other three candidates are Democrats.