By Jan Schultz, The Imperial Republican News Editor
As with most elections, Tuesday’s Primary in Nebraska had a few surprises. But, in the end, as it’s always been in our republic, the voters had the final say.
There were few local races, since most of those candidates advanced on to the General Election due to a lack of the required office-hopefuls for a Primary Election run-off.
Chase County will have a new county commissioner next term, as Republican challenger Dave Hogsett advanced from the Primary to the General Election with no Democratic opponent, at this time, to face. Barring a successful write-in candidate, he’ll be our next commissioner in District 2. Our thanks go out to four-term commissioner Jodi Thompson for her 16 years of service as District 2 Commissioner.
The District 44 state senator race sent Dan Hughes of Venango and Steve Stroup of Benkelman to the General Election in November, both of whom outdid Dennis Berry from the district’s largest city, McCook. The votes Berry tallied Tuesday will be the ones Stroup and Hughes will be vying for in their efforts to claim the legislative seat vacated by Imperial’s Mark Christensen due to term limits.
One of the most watched races statewide, as well as on the national scene, was Nebraska’s U.S. Senate race. Republicans nominated Ben Sasse of Fremont as their party’s nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen Mike Johanns.
Locally, Sasse carried the majority, as well, mirroring his statewide vote that more than doubled that of the runner-up Republican candidate, Sid Dinsdale. While Sasse has been tagged a Tea Party candidate by state and national pundits, I don’t believe local voters chose him because of that label. Candidates matter in Nebraska, not their labels.
Sasse was in Imperial on the campaign trail, and I was impressed with his presentation. He used no notes as he talked about the issues, mostly Obamacare. Evidently, his message rang true to so many voters in the state He’s a likable, knowledgeable candidate and will likely be our next U.S. senator in the largely Republican-based Nebraska.
The Governor’s race was also of interest with a tight race early on between the eventual Republican winner, Pete Ricketts, and Attorney General Jon Bruning. However, that race showed the most split votes of all the state races, as the third and fourth place finishers, Beau McCoy and Mike Foley, captured more than 40 percent of the vote between them. It looks like Nebraska will have another Republican Governor next year.
It will be a relief now that all the phone campaigning will cease. I got to the point where I wasn’t even answering the phone. We can thankfully rest from it for a few months. Then, on to November!