The two main statewide races for 2014 have shaped up with Republicans AND Democrats joining in the fray.
Let’s take a look.
On the Republican side, former State Treasurer Shane Osborn made it semi-official by filing for office (though holding off on an public announcement and all that).
Osborn’s candidacy had been pretty much an open secret for quite some time – he had made it known that if Governor Dave as out, he was in.
And with that, he now has a full-fledged campaign up and running.
He has hired the major pieces of a campaign staff who have a fair amount of experience in campaigns statewide and nationwide:
Campaign Manager: David Boomer – 8 congressional races since ’98, 5 top targets by both the NRCC and DCCC. Boomer’s streak is best known with Congressman Lee Terry (4 wins 04, 08, 10, 12). He has also managed legislative races in Connecticutt and has been on staff in 3 gubernatorial campaigns there
Consultant: Sam Fischer, Meridian Central – Valentine, Nebraska native (and Senator Deb Fischer nephew), Fischer’s expertise involves micro-targeting primary voters. Fischer’s Meridian Central also worked on Governor Heineman’s primary race in 2006 vs Tom Osborne, 2008 for Mike Johanns, 2010 and ’12 for Lee Terry and this spring’s Omaha Mayoral victory for Jean Stothert.
Treasurer: Molly Lloyd – a former campaign and office staffer for Lee Terry and Hal Daub.
General Consultant: OnMessage Inc.
This is all uber inside-baseball kinda stuff, but slightly interesting to those who are involved.
But possibly the MOST interesting point about the Shane Osborn campaign is Osborn himself! He looks as though he has lost a full Olsen-twin in weight!
He looks like he is back to the physique of his flying-days. Good for him.
And as we segue to the next candidate, we will note that a few of our contacts in the Nation’s Capital reported to us that recent meetings left them extremely impressed with Osborn — and say he is currently the one to beat in this race.
(Again, that ain’t us talking. Simply the messenger.)
And we noted in our previous post that Midland University President Ben Sasse began is statewide “listening tour” to decide whether he will run.
Again, we consider him “in” at this point and note that Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard feels the same.
Hemingway wrote a glowing review of Sasse (“A Virtuoso Pol from Nebraska?“), summarizing his resume and current activities as the President of Midlands:
Sasse remains undaunted. He’s only 41, and he’s already been successful at high levels of business, government, and academia. If Sasse does decide to run for the Senate, at this point in his life he’s got a lot to offer and not much to lose.
The article gives a great review of Sasse and of Midlands University in general. It would seem if the Osborn and (possibly) Ricketts campaigns want to have a theme against Sasse it would be, “Don’t let Midlands lose Sasse! He’s too valuable to them!” The other side of it could even be — with his administrative cred, the guy should be running for Governor, not Senate.
We still don’t know THAT much about Sasse, but he is impressing those who cover him.
(And just a super quick note about Sasse and the “carpetbagger” schtick that is coming from some commenters on this blog. “Carpetbaggers” aren’t born and raised in Nebraska, go off to school and then return for a full-time gig.)
We have not heard anything definitive on Pete Ricketts, except that…
Someone has been polling recently, and word has it that Ricketts will be making up his mind within three to four weeks.
We’ll stay tuned.
In the mean time, state Senator Brad Ashford has said he (probably) wants to run for U.S. Senate…as a Democrat.
You remember Brad. He was once a Republican, or maybe a Democrat, then an Independent, came in 4th out of 5 in the Omaha Mayor’s race and now wants to be a Democrat again.
Good on ya, mate.
State Senator Steve Lathrop jumped in an surprised no one that he too is going on a statewide listening tour.
And with that, state Senators Bob Krist and Tom Carlson have both also said they’re interested in being Governor.
Oh and Democrat Chuck Hassebrook said that unless Bob Kerrey tells him that he can’t, that HE is going to run for Governor.
In the mean time, Republican state Senator Charlie Janssen is IN for Gov, and no one has heard from former state Senator and Speaker, Mike Flood in a while.
And THEN, along with Charles Herbster, who we noted last week, former Gallup executive Mike Van Buskirk of Hay Springs name has come up.
We know next to nothing about Van Buskirk, except what we read on the internets. Seems he’s into windmills these days.
We noted in the comments recently the following poll that was published.
Eat it up here:
Here, generally are the results to discuss:
Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler (D) versus Attorney General Jon Bruning (R)
State Auditor Mike Foley (R) versus Chuck Hassebrook (D), Member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents
Former Ameritrade COO Pete Ricketts (R) vs. Former Lt. Gov. Kim Robak (D)
State Senator Steve Lathrop (D) versus former State Treasurer Shane Osborn (R)
Attorney Mike Meister (D) versus Midland University President Republican Ben Sasse (R)
Candidate……….Fav / Unfav
Beutler………………24% / 13%
Bruning……………..28% / 36%
Foley………………..25% / 16%
Hassebrook………..11% / 13%
Lathrop……………..15% / 10%
Meister………………8% / 10%
Osborn………………33% / 15%
Ricketts…………….22% / 32%
Robak……………….23% / 16%
Sasse……………….6% / 11%
That enough data for you to chew on?
Go ahead, spit out an opinion!
We double DOG dare ya!
Finally, along with all of the President’s other problems…
(Nebraska Tweeter, and local prince of one-liners, Dan Moser Tweetered:
“First they came for Verizon customers, but I did not speak out because I was not a Verizon customer…”)
…the Pres recently proposed a new person to represent the United States in the United Nations.
She would be Samantha Power, former executive director of Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.
The Washington Free Beacon recently posted Power’s 5 Worst Statements (Ex: she called for a U.S. world apology tour).
But along with the rest, the Boston Globe recently re-published her demand, in 2001, for former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey to be investigated for war crimes (regarding the village massacre in Vietnam.)
Apparently the President is now going to walk a mile in her Birkenstocks and really get down with her type of thinking.
And add her to Eric Holder and Susan Rice and then we would just note, AWESOME JOB OBAMA VOTERS!
How’s that thrill up your leg feelin’ these days?
Hey, pick up Dad something nice on Amazon.
Click the link up above