We hate to sound like a broken record here…er, scratched CD…er, codec incompatible mp3 (just trying to keep it relevant for the kids), but we will talk about what COULD happen IF Jeff Fortenberry decides to run for Senate.
First District Representative Fortenberry seems like the odds-on favorite to possibly get into the Senate race, considering that it may be a jump-ball for the GOP at this point. Of course a LOT of that depends on the intentions of Governor Dave Heineman. We would guess that if Governor Dave gets in, Fort doesn’t bother.
What if Fort does get in and gives up his current House seat?
Well, then the games begin in NE-1.
We have asked around, and the commenters have certainly contributed their pennies and nickels to the conversation. But here is what we have come up with.
Many people have thrown around the names of…
Speaker Mike Flood
State Senator Tony Fulton
State Senator Chris Langemeier.
All would or could be contenders for the gig.
Our understanding / belief is that none are likely to pull the trigger on this race.
We still have our doubts about Langemeier, but we are less torn about Flood and Fulton. One of the main reasons is that being in Congress is a difficult gig for the Family Man. If you aren’t fully committed, and if you don’t have some extra cash, it can take a real toll on one’s family life. You have to have two homes — and decide if you are going to see your family just on weekdays or just on weekends. And think housing in the DC area is cheap? How about the schools?
Anywho, maybe not just for that reason, but we could come up with many others. And the word that we get from those who observe is that those three are probably not interested (or maybe just don’t think Fort will leave the seat and aren’t’ bothering to stick their heads up yet).
So who IS likely very interested?
Well the names you have seen before, and who are most likely to be inittowinit (if it comes to that) are (in alphabetical order):
Nebraska State Board of Education member Bob Evnen.
We heard his name right out of the chute, and think he wants it. Though many might want it, so who knows…
Nebraska GOP Chairman Mark Fahleson.
Certainly can go to an organization right away, and has his name in the press constantly.
Lincoln City Councilman Adam Hornung.
Would come from a long line of Congressman who started in City Councils (and has reportedly begun planning in the event of a Fortenberry departure, in earnest).
State Senator Charlie Janssen.
You are hearing his name here FIRST. We understand that he is VERY interested, and would battle hard for this gig.
Those are four who we think would be very likely to get in — if Fort drops out.
Another who would likely be formidable, but who is an unknown at this point is State Auditor Mike Foley. Foley could/would run a tough race and likely has good name ID and/or a very public record to build on. But we don’t really have any idea of his intentions, so we will leave him out of the mix, for now.
Now it is just as likely we could get an email from one of those mentioned above or others saying, “I am NOT interested” or “I sure as hell AM interested” or “Why didn’t you include me?”. This is all very fluid at this point — not least because of the main decision needed to come from Fortenberry himself.
Heck, Fort may just look at that list and say, “Screw them. I’m staying put.” Or he may look at that Senate field for his big chance to take a leap.
Lots of factors here. But we have to figure that Fort won’t wait toooo long to make the call.
In the mean time, there are a few seat-edges getting worn out…