With the news that Rep. Jeff Fortenberry has decided not to run for the retiring Mike Johanns Senate seat, our gaze turns elsewhere to see who else is interested.
So on Wednesday evening we received the email that Midlands University President, Ben Sasse is going to begin a statewide “listening tour” to see if he should run. (You may remember that Leavenworth Street discussed Sasse’s potential run back in February.)
Unless he gets lost out in the Panhandle searching for Carhenge, we on Leavenworth Street are now counting Sasse “In” as a candidate.
We cracked up just a little at this line from his press release:
But let me be clear: We do not give a rip about some title or some DC office.
And see Sasse’s introductory video (“don’t give a rip” line included!) here:
We add Sasse to the definitely (though unannounced) Shane Osborn and the likely (though unannounced) Pete Ricketts.
So who else?
Well, we had been hearing that a wealthy non-Omahan/non-Lincolnite was interested, but we hadn’t heard a name.
Now we have a name.
That name is Charles Herbster, of Falls City, Nebraska. (For those without Google Maps, Falls City is pretty much the farthest Southeast you can go in Nebraska.)
Herbster is a millionaire cattle rancher and owner of an Amway-esque MLM called “Conklin“.
(And before we get too far on that, we really have no knowledge about Conklin, or their business strategy or whether they are like Amway or not. But we have seen them described as an MLM, and Amway is the best known of those.)
But Herbster’s bread and butter is the Herbster Angus Farms, where every logo and image is that of a giant bull.
Beyond that, we do not know that much about Herbster (though we are sure we will learn more).
It would seem he has a relationship at some level with Jim Dobson, the evangelist founder of “Focus on the Family.”
Herbster gave a one-minute welcome message to Dobson for an event in Iowa, which was recorded and posted on YouTube.
See it here:
So what does this tell us?
Well, if we had to guess — and we don’t really have much else to go on, on this Wednesday evening — we would likely put Herbster in the evangelical Christian column, though that doesn’t necessarily mean much these days.
But the MAIN thing it should tell us is that Herbster is likely sitting on a pile of his own cash that he can use to let the voters of Nebraska learn about him.
And that can be a big help in a statewide campaign.
Now, all that being said, we had FIRST heard Herbster’s name in the context of the Governor’s race.
But, he apparently had been considering U.S. Senate in previous races, but decided not to pull the trigger.
One could argue that both races are pretty much wide-open — though the Senate race is filling with a significant lineup now, whereas the Gov’s race only has, at most, two State Senators.
Herbster for Governor?
We will keep our eyes and ears open for more on Herbster and will try keep Sasse away from Carhenge.
Just in case.
Hey! Father’s Day is coming up!
Don’t be a goofball. Get Dad something decent on Amazon.com (via the LeavenworthSt.com links, of course).
Dad will be glad ya did.