Hagel Endorses Kerrey, Republicans React - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Hagel Endorses Kerrey, Republicans React

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By: Cole Miller
cmiller@klkntv.com

Like you would expect, some of Nebraska's top Republicans are standing behind Deb Fischer. The big surprise tonight? A former Republican Senator teaming up with Bob Kerrey.

That surprise is Chuck Hagel's endorsement for the Democrat, Bob Kerrey. Needless to say, Republicans weren't too happy with this decision.
  
With the eve of election night growing closer and closer, both of Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates are kicking their campaigns up a notch. On Thursday, both camps received some big-name endorsements.

Deb Fischer received the nods of fellow Republicans, including U.S. Senator Mike Johanns, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry and Governor Dave Heineman.

"She's the best person, she's the right person to represent Nebraska in the U.S. Senate," Heineman said.
 
As for Democratic nominee Bob Kerrey, a familiar Republican Senator is standing on his side.
 
"I'm here to today to endorse Bob Kerrey for the U.S. Senate," Chuck Hagel said.
 
A former Nebraska U.S. Senator, Chuck Hagel took a lot of heat from his registered party for the move.
 
"The reality of all of this is that he is not going to have much impact here anymore," Mike Johanns said. "There's no doubt about it, he's burned a lot of bridges here."
 
Hagel had a few words in response to Johanns.

"Comments like what Mr. Johanns said is what's wrong with our party system," Hagel said. "Who is Mike Johanns to judge me on I'm not a Republican?"

Hagel, who spent 12 years in the Senate, has since been working on President Obama's Intelligence Advisory Board, a bipartisan committee. And Johanns says this endorsement has underlying motives.

"Chuck has been very clear about the fact that he'd love to be in the Obama administration," Johanns said.
 
Hagel jokingly responded he wouldn't be in Nebraska if that was his motive.

"President Obama asked me to do some jobs in his administration, pretty senior jobs and I turned them down," Hagel said.
 
 
Fischer has also received an endorsement from the President's last opponent, John McCain. He'll be alongside her in Omaha on Friday. 

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