Races for Governor, Senate have been called
By: Channel 8 Eyewitness Newsroom
The Associated Press has called some of the big races in Nebraska’s Primary Election.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has easily won the Republican nomination to seek a second term in November. Ricketts enters the general election with more than $1.3 million in campaign cash at his disposal for the general election, far outpacing all other gubernatorial candidates. His only GOP challenger in Tuesday’s primary didn’t raise or spend enough to trigger a reporting requirement. Ricketts defeated Krystal Gabel of Omaha, a technical writer who advocates for medical marijuana and industrial hemp. Gabel previously volunteered for the Nebraska Green Party and the Legal Cannabis Now Party. Ricketts has already started airing television ads to tout his previous efforts to lower property taxes.
Nebraska state Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha has won the Democratic nomination to run for the seat held by incumbent Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts. Krist defeated two other Democratic candidates in Tuesday’s primary election. The veteran state lawmaker campaigned on promises that he would take a less partisan approach to state government than Ricketts. Krist had been a Republican but switched his affiliation to nonpartisan in September when announcing his bid for governor. He reregistered as a Democrat in February due to legal barriers in his bid to qualify for the ballot as an independent. The two other Democrats who ran were Vanessa Ward, a pastor and community activist from Omaha, and Tyler Davis, a University of Nebraska at Omaha instructor.
Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska has won the Republican nomination in her bid for a second term in office. Fischer defeated four GOP challengers in Tuesday’s primary election and will be the strong favorite to win re-election in deep-red Nebraska. Some of Fischer’s primary opponents had argued she wasn’t conservative enough, but Fischer received endorsements from a majority of the state’s elected Republican officials, as well as major farm and business groups. Before being elected to the Senate, she was a rancher and state legislator. In the GOP primary, Fischer defeated retired Omaha math professor Jack Heidel; writer and retired air conditioning technician Dennis Frank Macek; former finance manager Jeffrey Lynn Stein; and Lincoln businessman Todd Watson.
Lincoln city councilwoman and grocery store executive Jane Raybould has won the Democratic nomination for Senate in Nebraska. Raybould defeated three Democratic challengers in Tuesday’s primary race for the seat held by Republican Sen. Deb Fischer, who is running for re-election. Raybould faces an uphill general election battle in GOP-dominated Nebraska. Fischer won election in 2012 by nearly 16 percentage points. Raybould has served on the Lincoln City Council since 2015 and helps run her family’s grocery store chain. She ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2014 as part of Democrat Chuck Hassebrook’s gubernatorial campaign. The other Democratic hopefuls who ran were retired farmer, attorney and judge Frank Svoboda of Lincoln; retired Fremont real estate broker Larry Marvin; and Chris Janicek, the owner of an Omaha specialty cake business.