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Posts in "Neb. Senate"

February 18, 2013

Heineman, Fortenberry Considering Senate Run in Nebraska

Heineman, Fortenberry Considering Senate Run in Nebraska

Fortenberry said, "I will listen to Nebraskans, explore the questions of how I might most effectively serve, and weigh the demands of such an endeavor " before deciding whether to run. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:46 p.m. | Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman will take “a few days” to consider a run to succeed fellow Republican Sen. Mike Johanns, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Heineman would be the heavy front-runner if he decided to enter the race to succeed Johanns, who surprised politicos in Washington, D.C., and Nebraska when he announced his retirement plans on Monday.

“As far as Senate, it’s a little different situation this time [than in 2011],” Heineman told the newspaper. One major difference? He is term-limited at the end of his current term that ends in 2014.

He added that he has never “indicated that being in the Senate is my dream job.”

Given the governor’s previous reluctance to run, other potential candidates aren’t waiting for Heineman’s decision to announce they are weighing the race.

“I will consider a run for the United States Senate,” Rep. Jeff Fortenberry said in a statement on Monday. “I will listen to Nebraskans, explore the questions of how I might most effectively serve, and weigh the demands of such an endeavor with my family.” Full story

Nebraska: Mike Johanns Won’t Seek Re-Election

Nebraska: Mike Johanns Wont Seek Re Election

After 32 years in public service, Johanns has decided to step down. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:08 p.m. | Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns, who was a safe bet to win a second term in 2014, announced Monday that he would forgo re-election.

“With everything in life, there is a time and a season. At the end of this term, we will have been in public service over 32 years,” Johanns wrote in an email to constituents co-signed with his wife, Stephanie. “Between the two of us, we have been on the ballot for primary and general elections 16 times and we have served in eight offices. It is time to close this chapter of our lives.”

Republicans are heavily favored to hold the open seat in the conservative state.

Nebraska GOP Gov. Dave Heineman is term-limited from seeking re-election in 2014 and is considered a likely candidate in the race to replace Johanns. The governor has the right of first refusal, and if he runs he would be the “400-pound gorilla” in the race, according to state GOP strategist Sam Fischer. Most other Republicans would likely defer to him.

“My guess is that he’s not going to be in a rush” to make a decision, Fischer said of Heineman.

If Heineman doesn’t run, the GOP faces the prospect of a crowded and bruising primary. “There’s no shortage of people,” Fischer said of a field of prospective GOP candidates. Full story

November 28, 2012

Inside the 2014 Senate Races

Inside the 2014 Senate Races
Roll Call’s initial Senate ratings outlook projects a potentially bullish cycle for Republicans, with an opportunity to recapture the majority for the first time in eight years.

But that’s exactly how things looked two years before the 2012 elections, when Democrats surprised many with victories in Missouri and North Dakota on their way to picking up two seats. So the challenge for the GOP and incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas is to capitalize on their opportunities.

That and how voters feel about President Barack Obama in 2014 could determine how the parties fare at the ballot box less than two years from now. Democrats won their current majority in 2006, in the second midterm election under President George W. Bush.

Republicans are hoping Obama’s second midterm is similarly kind to them, if not equal to the president’s 2010 midterm shellacking, when the GOP won seven seats (and control of the House) despite beginning the cycle as the underdog.

Full story

November 3, 2012

Nebraska: Condoleezza Rice Endorses Deb Fischer

Nebraska: Condoleezza Rice Endorses Deb Fischer

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration, today endorsed state Sen. Deb Fischer in the open-seat Nebraska Senate race against former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.).

“Deb Fischer is an effective legislator who will promote economic competitiveness and private sector growth and will change the current standstill in Washington,”  Rice said in a news release from the Republican’s campaign. “Her fresh perspective will allow her to be a leader in Congress and I’m proud to stand with her in this important race.”

Fischer, who is in a tightening race with Kerrey, was happy to receive Rice’s backing.

“I have deep respect and admiration for Dr. Rice, and I’m truly honored to have her support,” Fischer said in the release. “Dr. Rice understands the importance of maintaining American exceptionalism by advancing our nation’s domestic and international interests.”

Rice’s endorsement of Fischer comes after Kerrey has racked up several notable endorsements, including former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.). Fischer is still favored to win the seat, which is being vacated by retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). Roll Call rates the race as Likely Republican.

November 1, 2012

Nebraska: Bob Kerrey Nabs Chuck Hagel Endorsement

Nebraskans should send former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) back to the Senate on Tuesday because he has a history of working across the aisle and would help end partisan gridlock, former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel said today in endorsing his former colleague.

Some polls have shown the race between Kerrey and Republican Deb Fischer tightening in recent days.

Hagel, who stressed that he is still a Republican, noted that Kerrey has also received endorsements from other Republican former Senators, including Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who co-chaired a commission that proposed cutting the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years. Kerrey has also won the support from New Hampshire’s Warren Rudman, who helped draft the 1980s budget agreement known as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. Full story

October 30, 2012

American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS Make Gargantuan Final Senate Ad Push

The Republican-affiliated sister groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS will begin a massive $10.5 million Senate ad blitz today and Wednesday, blanketing competitive Senate races, including those in Maine, Montana and New Mexico, with hard-hitting attack ads.

With control of the Senate in the balance, the deep-pocketed groups are making a concerted final push to help put GOP candidates over the line.

The ads that begin today are in the following Senate races:

Full story

October 29, 2012

Nebraska: Bob Kerrey Touts Endorsements From Alan Simpson, Erskine Bowles

The bipartisan leaders of President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction commission today endorsed former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) in his uphill bid against GOP candidate Deb Fischer for the open Nebraska Senate seat.

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles “are supporting Bob Kerrey because he has told Nebraskans the honest truth about the critical necessity of assuring the 75 year solvency of the Social Security system, and stabilizing Medicare and Medicaid in a way that preserves and strengthens the needed protections for seniors and the most vulnerable in our society,” Simpson said in a statement released by the Kerrey campaign. Full story

October 17, 2012

Nebraska: John McCain, Joe Lieberman Pick Their Horses

Nebraska: John McCain, Joe Lieberman Pick Their Horses

Nebraska Senate candidate Deb Fischer was endorsed by Sen. John McCain today. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) weighed in on the Nebraska Senate race today, with respective endorsements of GOP hopeful Deb Fischer and former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D).

“I’m proud to support Deb Fischer in this important election for U.S. Senate,” McCain said in a release on Fischer’s campaign website. “She has the character and commitment to change Washington.”

“She will work to eliminate wasteful spending, balance the budget, and grow the private sector economy,” McCain’s statement continued. “Facing an ever-growing debt, we need fiscally conservative leadership like Deb’s in the U.S. Senate to get our nation back on the right track.” Full story

September 28, 2012

Nebraska: Bob Kerrey Targets Deb Fischer on Balanced Budget Amendment

Looking to make up ground, Democratic Nebraska Senate nominee Bob Kerrey attacked Republican candidate Deb Fischer on her support of a balanced budget amendment in their second debate today.

“I do worry about this balanced budget amendment,” said Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and U.S. Senator. “It’s going to have a terrible impact on Nebraska.”

“We are not going to be able to invest in our universities. We are not going to be able to provide the Pell grants that our students need. We are not going to be able to have the kind of research that needs to occur to develop” partnerships with private-sector businesses, he said. Full story

September 12, 2012

Nebraska: Deb Fischer, Bob Kerrey Commit to Third Debate

State Sen. Deb Fischer (R) and former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) have agreed to a third debate, according to the Associated Press.

The debate will take place on Oct. 1 and will air statewide on public television, radio and online.

The pair have squared off once before. The Omaha Chamber of Commerce will host the second debate on Sept. 28 in Omaha; it will be broadcast on an affiliate the following Sunday.

Roll Call rates this race as Likely Republican.

June 19, 2012

Nebraska: Deb Fischer Has Wide Lead Over Bob Kerrey in Internal GOP Poll

Nebraska state Sen. Deb Fischer’s (R) campaign released an internal poll today that showed her ahead of former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) by a large margin in the race to replace retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D).

The poll showed Fischer at 58 percent while Kerrey garnered 33 percent.

A source from the Kerrey campaign told Roll Call that other private polling shows a much tighter race, and the source stressed that Fischer is widely unknown in the state.

Full story

June 13, 2012

New American Crossroads Ads Target Six States

American Crossroads is targeting six Senate races in a new round of television ads set to hit the airwaves today.

The Republican super PAC and its nonprofit arm, Crossroads GPS, has invested a combined $4.6 million in this buy, set to run statewide on broadcast and cable television in Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio and Virginia. Except for Nevada, all of the seats are held by Democrats and considered top Republican pickup targets.

The spots include three attack ads from American Crossroads that are worth $2.6 million and critical of the Democratic nominees in Nebraska, Nevada and Virginia. The three issue ads from Crossroads GPS are running in Missouri, North Dakota and Ohio and focus on spending, debt and President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Full story

May 23, 2012

NRSC Welcomes Deb Fischer, Richard Mourdock With Fundraisers and Cash

Senate Republicans are helping to refill the coffers of their newly minted nominees in Indiana and Nebraska following bruising primaries.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee contributed the maximum allowed — $43,000  — to state Sen. Deb Fischer, the GOP’s nominee in Nebraska, and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, the GOP’s nominee in Indiana.

The donations mark the first of their kind from the NRSC to nonincumbent candidates this cycle. Republicans have the edge in both Senate races, but Democrats contend the states will be highly competitive this November. Roll Call rates both races as Leans Republican.

Nonetheless, Republicans want to give Fischer and Mourdock a financial boost after long and expensive primaries wiped out the their campaign bank accounts.

To further help with that task, Senate GOP leadership will host two separate fundraisers for Mourdock and Fischer on June 5 and 6, respectively. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) are headlining both events, according to a copy of the emailed invitation.

Additionally, Cornyn’s Alamo PAC gave the $5,000 maximum to both candidates.

May 16, 2012

Mike Johanns: Club for Growth Sank Don Stenberg

Mike Johanns: Club for Growth Sank Don Stenberg

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Republicans sought to interpret Deb Fischer’s upset victory in Tuesday’s Nebraska Senate primary and what it portends for the 2012 elections, Sen. Mike Johanns (R) told Roll Call that the third-party groups who spent heavily to boost Don Stenberg are responsible for his last-place finish.

Johanns, a former Nebraska governor, said the Club for Growth’s television ad campaign that targeted frontrunner Jon Bruning, the state attorney general, was “tone deaf” and left Nebraska GOP primary voters with an overwhelmingly negative impression of Stenberg, the state treasurer. Johanns referred to Stenberg as a “true blue conservative” who has a solid base of support in Nebraska and should have finished with at least around 35 percent of the vote. Bruning, who fought back against with negative attacks of his own, was also damaged in the fray.

“In a state like Nebraska, when the dirt starts flying, those throwing the dirt are going to get dirty too. It not only cost Bruning, it cost Stenberg significantly,” Johanns said this morning in a telephone interview. “It was an error in strategy.”

Full story

May 15, 2012

Nebraska: Deb Fischer Wins GOP Senate Nomination

Nebraska: Deb Fischer Wins GOP Senate Nomination

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Coming off a last-minute surge, state Sen. Deb Fischer won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate tonight, according to the Associated Press.

Up until about two weeks ago, Fischer was largely written off as a candidate. For most of the cycle, state Attorney General Jon Bruning was the undisputed GOP frontrunner. He came in second place.

Bruning had a deep organization, but Fischer’s momentum proved too strong.

The favorite among anti-establishment conservative groups, state Treasurer Don Stenberg came in third place. In recent days, state and national Republicans began to describe the Stenberg effort as a miscalculation on the part of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and others.

Full story

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