THE OWH is reporting that Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman will NOT run for Senate in 2014.
This opens the flood gates.
(we’ll give a little more detail for out-of-staters reading)
- former Senate candidate and part Chicago Cubs owner Pete Ricketts
Ricketts lost the 2006 Senate race to Ben Nelson 36%-64%. Since then he started the Nebraska think tank – “Platte Institute for Economic Research”. In 2009 the Ricketts family (dad Ricketts founded AmeriTrade) bought the Chicago Cubs. Pete is involved, but brother Tom is the face of the organization. Ricketts was reportedly recently in DC chatting with the NRSC and others.
- former State Treasurer Shane Osborn
Osborn is definitely in. He originially gained notoriety when he landed a wounded U.S. Navy EP-E3 airplane with a 23 member crew on a Chinese island. (It was a big deal.) In 2006 Osborn won his first foray into politics for the Treasurer’s office. He reduced the office’s budget and improved efficiencies. He did not run for re-election and has since been successful in the investment market.
probablypossibly – though we’re hearing it is more likely a “no”) 1st District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
After serving on the Lincoln City Council, Fortenberry was somewhat of a surprise winner in the GOP primary in 2004, then taking the general (replacing Doug Bereuter). He is on the Ag and Foreign Affairs Committees. He was listed by Foreign Policy magazine in 2010 as a “new Republican powerbroker” on nuclear security issues.
- (possibly) Midlands Univ Pres Ben Sasse
We profiled newcomer Sasse in February, and you can read that here.
There is always somewhat of a “usual suspects” of Democrat challengers. We suppose Bob Kerrey could always try to “move back” to Nebraska again. Former Lt. Gov. Kim Robak was a serious name thrown around a few years ago for statewide office. State Senator Steve Lathrop is dying to run for something, but we think the open Governor’s seat is more likely. And then there is former Regent Chuck Hassebrook who took his lumps when Kerrey pushed him (figuratively) into an oncoming semi on I-80 when Kerrey decided to run for Senate in 2012.
Of them, we would consider Robak the most viable (others may disagree). We wouldn’t be surprised if Nebraskans dug it to have two female Senators. Though the fact that Robak is a Democrat ain’t gonna help her.
We will be happy to keep a running tab on the rest (though we are mainly interested in “likely” as opposed to “who YOU would like”.
And keep in mind that if Fortenberry is in, that blows things up in Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District.
We’ll keep you updated.