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August 30, 2014

Posts in "Nebraska"

May 29, 2014

Lee Terry’s Seat Gives Republicans Heartburn in Nebraska

Lee Terrys Seat Gives Republicans Heartburn in Nebraska

Terry is a Republican from Nebraska. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., could be in a heap of political trouble this year  — again.

Earlier this month, Terry posted a lackluster primary performance, winning his party’s nod by just 8 points over a lesser-known competitor. Since then, a conservative spoiler has entered the November race with Terry and the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Brad Ashford.

That’s made Terry’s re-election a headache for national Republicans. They fear this candidate might peel off Terry’s votes to clear a path for the Democrat to win. Full story

May 13, 2014

Nebraska Senate Race: Sasse Wins Republican Primary (Video)

Nebraska Senate Race: Sasse Wins Republican Primary (Video)

Sasse prevailed over two Republican rivals in the Nebraska Senate primary race Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ben Sasse pulled off a victory in Nebraska Tuesday night, winning the Republican Senate primary to become the nominee and likely the next senator from the Cornhusker State.

Sasse, president of Midland University and a former Bush administration official, bested former state Treasurer Shane Osborn and banker Sid Dinsdale to win the nomination for this open seat. Republican Sen. Mike Johanns is retiring.

Sasse had 44 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race just before 10 p.m. Dinsdale was in second at 26 percent, followed by Osborn with 23 percent.

Sasse benefited from massive spending by outside groups like the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund. Those groups did a lot of the dirty work, running a barrage of negative ads bashing first Osborn and, later, Dinsdale, while Sasse’s own campaign only ran positive spots about the candidate.

With Sasse’s nomination, the tea party will claim its first big win of the cycle. Tea-party-aligned groups like the Madison Project — along with the club and SCF — backed him, along with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, who traveled to Nebraska to rally for Sasse alongside former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

There is no serious Democratic contender. The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

May 8, 2014

Outside Groups Target Dinsdale Ahead of Nebraska Primary

Five days before the Nebraska Republican Senate primary, outside groups are beginning to train their sights on self-funding banker Sid Dinsdale, who has run third in the polls.

Dinsdale faces Midland University President Ben Sasse and former state Treasurer Shane Osborn in the May 13 primary in this safe Republican seat; the winner of the GOP primary will likely be the next senator from Nebraska.

A TV ad released Thursday by the Club for Growth, which is backing Sasse, attacks Dinsdale for being too liberal, saying he donated money to Democrats and said the Affordable Care Act had some “good aspects.”

“That’s really liberal,” the narrator says. “That’s the real Sid Dinsdale.” Full story

May 6, 2014

Super PAC Uses Candidate’s Kids to Attack His Campaign

A Super PAC released a new advertisement attacking Republican Ben Sasse for trying to “hide behind” his children, one week before the Senate GOP primary in Nebraska.

The 15-second ad, posted to YouTube on Tuesday, which says it is paid for by the Freedom Pioneers Action Network, takes footage from an ad run by Sasse, in which his two daughters talk about how conservative their father is and how much he dislikes Obamacare.

“Fact: Ben Sasse said Obamacare ‘is an important first step,’ ” says a female narrator, pointing to a quote that has been repeatedly leveled against Sasse, which he says was taken entirely out of context.

Full story

March 17, 2014

Shane Osborn Up With First Nebraska Senate TV Ad

Former Nebraska Treasurer Shane Osborn, who is running in a competitive GOP Senate primary, launched his first TV ad Monday.

With less than two months to go before the May 13 primary, Osborn is running a biographical ad that reaches back to an international incident he was involved in as a Naval aviator. It will be a two-week, $80,000 buy, according to an Osborn source, but Nebraska is a relatively cheap media market and Osborn’s advertising is expected to increase.

Osborn is one of several veterans who are using their military biographies to make their case for public office.

Full story

December 16, 2013

Nebraska Republican to Make TV Buy During BCS Game

Midland University President Ben Sasse has scheduled airtime on Jan. 6 during the Bowl Championship Series game between Auburn University and Florida State University, according to multiple sources who track media buys.

The buy is worth about $8,500. Full story

October 1, 2013

First-Time GOP Senate Candidate Posts Knock-Out Fundraising Quarter

Midland University President Benjamin Sasse has raised $800,000 in his first quarter as a candidate for Nebraska’s open Senate seat, one of his top aides confirmed to CQ Roll Call.

Republican Sen. Mike Johanns is retiring, leaving an open GOP primary for his seat in 2014. Sasse’s top competition for the nomination is former state Treasurer Shane Osborn. The GOP nominee will likely be the next senator from this reliably Republican state. Full story

February 20, 2013

Nebraska: Senate Conservatives Fund Warns Against Fortenberry Bid

Nebraska: Senate Conservatives Fund Warns Against Fortenberry Bid

The Senate Conservatives Fund will not support Fortenberry if he runs for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An influential conservative group has warned its members about a potential Senate bid from Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.

The Senate Conservatives Fund declared, “BEWARE OF FORTENBERRY,” in a Wednesday email.

“Congressman Fortenberry has a big-spending voting record in the House of Representatives and is not the kind of fiscal conservative we need in the U.S. Senate,” the group’s executive director, Matt Hoskins, wrote in the email. “In fact, he received a dismal 51% rating in the latest Heritage Action for America scorecard.”

Fortenberry already publicly acknowledged his interest in running for retiring Sen. Mike Johanns’ seat. But Nebraska Republicans are waiting for Gov. Dave Heineman to make a decision about the seat. They say the governor would clear the field if he ran for Johanns’ seat.

In the meantime, ambitious Republicans are making preparations if Heineman does not run. The race could pit more establishment-backed Republicans against grass-roots-supported, more conservative candidates.

“It’s going to be the Wild West if the governor decides not to run,”said Jordan McGrain, executive director of the Nebraska Republican Party.

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

May 9, 2012

Sarah Palin Endorses Deb Fischer in Nebraska Senate Race

Sarah Palin Endorses Deb Fischer in Nebraska Senate Race

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, have endorsed Deb Fischer, providing the state Senator’s struggling bid to succeed retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D) an adrenaline shot six days before the GOP primary.

Full story

March 13, 2012

Nebraska: Bob Kerrey Goes on the Air

On the same day a conservative group went after former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) with a carpetbagger theme, he put up his first ads, one of which is called “Welcome Home.”

It is part of Kerrey’s first big ad purchase in his run for Nebraska Senate. The first round will be part of a $100,000 buy that will air statewide, including on broadcast television. Nebraska is a relatively inexpensive state, so in that context, it’s a substantial buy.

Full story

March 8, 2012

Nebraska: Democratic Field Clears for Bob Kerrey

To perhaps no one’s surprise, the Democratic field in Nebraska’s Senate race has cleared for former Sen. Bob Kerrey.

Chuck Hassebrook, who had been seeking the Democratic nomination before Kerrey decided to enter the race, ended his campaign today and gave the former Senator his endorsement.

I “came to the realization I would not succeed,” Hassebrook said at a press conference, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Full story

March 6, 2012

Nebraska: Bruning Internal Poll Shows Big Lead

Nebraska: Bruning Internal Poll Shows Big Lead

A poll conducted for Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning showed him with a wide lead in the GOP Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An internal poll commissioned by Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning’s Senate campaign showed him holding a strong lead over his Republican primary rivals.

Bruning garnered 52 percent, followed by state Treasurer Don Stenberg, who got 19 percent, and state Sen. Deb Fischer, who got 11 percent.

Full story

February 28, 2012

Nebraska: Reid Won’t Give Details on Kerrey Decision

Amid speculation that former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) is reconsidering a run for his old seat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today acknowledged that he has had extensive conversations with Kerrey, but gave no other details.

“There is a lot of speculation out there; number one is whether Bob is going to be running,” Reid said at a press conference. “I have had, over the last several weeks, lots of conversations with Bob Kerrey and none of those am I going to talk about here.”

Other Democrats were also quiet about Kerrey including Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) who is chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Full story

February 27, 2012

Report: Bob Kerrey Will Run for Nebraska Senate Seat After All

Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) has decided to run for Senate in Nebraska, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Only three weeks ago, Kerrey announced he would not run for Senate. The change of heart is seen as a major boost for Democrats, who were unlikely to compete to hold the seat of retiring Sen. Ben Nelson absent a top-tier candidate.

Kerrey, a former governor and two-term Senator, has statewide star power similar to Nelson’s, and his entrance is expected to change the dynamics of the race. The current GOP field includes state Attorney General Jon Bruning, state Treasurer Don Stenberg and state Sen. Deb Fischer. Full story

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