Tags: Don Stenberg

Charlie Janssen to Run for Nebraska Governor


Nebraska is suddenly rife with political activity. Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican, said he won’t run for reelection,  and there’s likely to be a competitive GOP gubernatorial primary:

Sen. Charlie Janssen announced today he is running for governor in 2014.

Janssen made it official today in front of a crowd of about 150 at Midland University in his hometown of Fremont. He didn’t come to the decision lightly saying the country took a wrong turn in 2008 and again in 2012.

Sen. Charlie Janssen announces his bid for governor today in Fremont.

Calling himself a plain-spoken guy, the Republican senator said he opposes big government and wants state government that stays out of people’s way. He’s known for his tough stance on illegal immigration and has pushed for legislation requiring people to present identification in order to vote. He’s also pushing to repeal a law passed last session allowing the state to pay for prenatal care for illegal immigrants. lays out the potential roster of primary combatants: “Other Republicans considering the race include Omaha Sen. Beau McCoy, State Auditor Mike Foley and State Treasurer Don Stenberg. Democrats mulling over a bid include Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop and former University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook. Former NU Regent Tim Clare has decided not to make a run.”

Tags: Charlie Janssen , Don Stenberg , Mike Foley , Mike Johanns

Meet One of the Men Running Against the ‘Cornhusker Kickback’


Over on the home page, an interview with Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who’s running for Senate in 2012, hoping to knock off Sen. Ben Nelson, well known for the “Cornhusker Kickback.”

I liked his answer when I asked him about law school writings that would have put him solidly on the liberal end of the political spectrum:

NRO: Your career spans almost two decades, so you have a lot of moments to choose from, but was there a key event in your transition from a liberal to a conservative?

BRUNING: They were the same ones that are common to a lot of young people. You begin to pay your first taxes and you wonder who FICA is and why he’s taking such a big chunk out of your paycheck. You fall in love and get married. All of those things happened for me about the same time. And when you start to think about the future of your family and wonder where your tax dollars are going and how they’re being spent, that can make a conservative out of you pretty quickly.I always hearken back to the old Churchill quote, “If you’re not a liberal at 20, you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative at 40, you have no brain.” I think that applies to a lot of us. There are certainly a number people who are fortunate enough to have their parents help pay for college, and they don’t think too much about where the money comes from and where it goes. I was one of those young people. Once my parents kicked me from the nest . . . a little personal responsibility will cause you to look at things in a different light very quickly.

Bruning is expected to face state Treasurer Don Stenberg in the GOP primary.

UPDATE: Don Stenberg made it official today.

Tags: Ben Nelson , Don Stenberg , Jon Bruning

Bad News for Sen. Kickback. Er, You Know Who We Mean.


The latest numbers from Public Policy Polling suggest Sen. Cornhusker Kickback Ben Nelson is in as much trouble as you would expect: “Every poll released so far on the 2012 Nebraska Senate race has shown Ben Nelson in deep trouble and our numbers are no exception. Nelson trails Attorney General Jon Bruning 50-39 in a hypothetical contest and Treasurer Don Stenberg by a 45-41 margin.”

At this very early date, the Senate race in North Dakota looks promising for Republicans, as does Montana. Throw in Nebraska, and either Missouri (McCaskill) or Virginia (Webb) and Republicans would have 51 seats, presuming they lost none of their incumbents in 2012 (an open question, considering that Scott Brown is among those who will be facing the voters).

Tags: Ben Nelson , Don Stenberg , Jon Bruning

One of Ben Nelson’s GOP Rivals Makes It Official


Nebraska attorney general Jon Bruning filed paperwork with FEC yesterday making his candidacy for U.S. Senate official. A formal announcement will come in a few weeks.

If he wins the primary, he’ll be taking on two-term incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson, famous for the “Cornhusker Kickback.”

A GOP poll shows Nelson in considerable trouble, albeit two years away from Election Day:

A new poll by a right-leaning consulting group released Dec. 22 shows Sen. Ben Nelson trailing a pair of potential challengers for the Senate seat in 2012.

Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies commissioned the poll of 1,789 “likely 2012 voters” and found Nelson’s overall approval rating at 43 percent.

The poll also showed that 52 percent of voters favored Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning in a race against Nelson (38 percent), while 46 percent favored State Treasurer Don Stenberg over Nelson (40 percent). An earlier poll commissioned by the Nebraska Republican Party showed Bruning with a 15 percent edge over Nelson in November.

Tags: Ben Nelson , Don Stenberg , Jon Bruning

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