The Nebraska Primary Election on Tuesday, May 15th narrowed the field in many key state and federal races. In the Nebraska Legislature there are twenty-four (24) races with eight (8) of them being open seats due to term limited Senators unable to run for re-election. The sixteen seats with incumbents running for re-election saw all incumbents advancing to the General Election, however, not every incumbent secured the most votes. “As an incumbent, you want to have a strong showing in the Primary. Not earning the top spot should be of concern but it can also light a fire to work harder and the good news for them is that they have six months to turn it around” said Brandon Luetkenhaus, Chief Advocacy Officer of the League.
Key Legislative Races:
District 8 (Mid-town Omaha) Open Seat: Megan Hurt (56%) v. Mina Davis (22%)
District 10 (NW Omaha) Open Seat: Wendy DeBoer (56%) v. Matt Deaver (43%)
District 12 (Ralston): Steve Lathrop – former Senator from LD 12 (52%) v. Incumbent Sen. Merv Riepe (47%) *The only former State Senator to successfully win election back to their former seat is Senator Ernie Chambers LD 11.
District 14 (North Central Omaha) Open Seat: John Arch (60%) v. Jeff Parris (39%)
District 16 (Burt, Cuming, Washington Counties) Open Seat: Ben Hansen (58%) v. Chuck Hassebrook (41%)
District 18 (Omaha): Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Brett Lindstrom (56%) v. Scott Winkler (36%)
District 22 (Columbus) Open Seat: Mike Moser (56%) v. Doug Oertwich (21%)
District 30 (Beatrice) Open Seat: Myron Dorn (40%) v. Don Schuller (38%)
District 36 (Gothenburg) Banking Committee Member Sen. Matt Williams UNOPPOSED
District 38 (Central Nebraska) Open Seat: Dave Murman (45%) v. Marsha Fangmeyer (23%)
District 40 (North/Central Nebraska) Open Seat: Tim Gragert (20%) v. Keith Kube (19%) *Field of 6 candidates*
On the federal side, all three Nebraska Congressmen are running for re-election as well as U.S. Senator Deb Fischer. All four incumbents won their party’s nomination to advance to the General Election. All four are Republican. The race that thus far is getting the most attention including from national media is the 2nd Congressional District where Democrat voters nominated progressive Kara Eastman over former Congressman Brad Ashford who was known as more of a “middle-of-the-road” candidate. Also, of interest is taking a look at the number of voters who came out to vote. On the Democrat side there were 39,352 votes cast while on the Republican side there were 33,032 votes cast. In the other two House races Republican voters outperformed Democrat voters. In the Senate race, Republican voters outperformed Democrat voters nearly 2-1. “The 2nd District race is the one to watch. Which party’s voters will be most energized to get out and vote? We’ll see as six months until election day is an eternity in politics and a lot can happen on the national level that can impact both parties and their candidates,” said Luetkenhaus.