By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Chase County Clerk Debbie Clark spent part of Tuesday morning making sure all of the county’s vote tallying machines were ready to go.
That’s because this year’s Primary Election will occur on Tuesday, May 13. Voting will occur in five polling places throughout the county from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. MT.
Primary elections will be held for Republican, Democratic and Libertarian Parties, with the top candidate in each race advancing to the General Election Tuesday, Nov. 4.
LB 56 affects county ballot
Clark explained a new law, LB 56, passed in this year’s short session affects whether or not partisan county office races appear on the Primary party ballots.
The bill, which carried the emergency clause, specifies that when only one person files for a county partisan office, the race will not appear on the Primary ballot. The candidate is declared as nominated and will appear on the General Election ballot for the respective races.
That is the case in all county races this year, with the exception of the Republican Commissioner District Two race. That race between incumbent Jodi Thompson and challenger Dave Hogsett will be decided Tuesday.
The winner of the race will advance to the General Election. There are no challengers for the seat on the Democratic ticket.
Chase County voters registered as non-partisan, which number 279, will be able to cast ballots in nonpartisan races for District 44 of the Legislature and District 7 of the State Board of Education.
Clark said the Democratic and Libertarians Parties allow nonpartisan voters to also cast ballots for their primary races. The Republican Party does not open their ballot to nonpartisan voting.
She noted the nonpartisan voter can request either a Democratic ballot or Libertarian ballot when they check in at their respective polling places.
44th District race
Voters in the 44th Legislative District will forward two of the three candidates to the General Election.
The three candidates include Dan Hughes of Venango, Steve Stroup of Benkelman and Dennis Berry of McCook.
Next week’s Primary for state offices represents one of the most contested elections on the Republican ticket that voters have seen in a number of years.
Six Republicans are seeking their party’s nomination for governor, four for attorney general and two each for auditor and treasurer.
On the Democratic ticket, two candidates are seeking the nomination for attorney general. The candidates in the rest of the offices are unopposed, as are the Libertarians.
Candidates in the Republican governor’s race, Attorney General Jon Bruning, State Auditor Mike Foley, State Senators Beau McCoy and Tom Carlson, businessman Pete Ricketts and attorney Bryan Slone.
Chuck Hassebrook is running unopposed on the Democratic ticket.
The four Republicans seeking to succeed Bruning as attorney general include Brian Buescher, Mike Hilgers, Doug Peterson and State Sen. Pete Pirsch.
Janet Stewart and Allan Eurek are seeking the Democratic nomination.
In the auditor’s race on the Republican ticket, Charlie Janssen faces off with Larry Anderson. Democratic candidate Amanda Gill is running unopposed.
Senate, Third District races
With Sen. Mike Johanns stepping down from the U.S. Senate, seven different candidates jumped in the race to succeed him—five from the Republican Party and two from the Democratic Party.
Republican candidates include Clifton Johnson, Shane Osborne, Sid Dinsdale, Ben Sasse and Bart McLeay. The winner will face either Democrat Larry Marvin or Dave Domina in the General Election.
In the Third District, incumbent Adrian Smith is being challenged by Tom Brewer. The winner will face Democrat Mark Sullivan in the General Election.
Voters in the Champion/Lamar precinct will vote at the Champion Community Center.
Imperial West precinct voters cast their ballots at the Lied Imperial Public Library, while voters in Imperial East vote at the Imperial Community Center.
Voters in the Imperial Rural precinct vote at the Imperial United Methodist Church. All Wauneta precinct voters vote at the Wauneta Senior Center.
A total of 2,529 voters are registered in Chase County. Of those, 1,823 are Republican, 424 Democrat, 279 nonpartisan and 3 Libertarians.