AP NEWS

District 22 candidates excited to advance to November election

May 17, 2018 GMT

Now that the ballots are counted and the unofficial results are in, the four men running for the District 22 seat in the Nebraska Legislature has been cut down to two.

Mike Moser of Columbus and Doug Oertwich of Pilger were the top two vote-getters and advance to the November general election. Francis Kuehler of Humphrey and Kenneth Leischner of Columbus are the two eliminated.

Moser captured the most votes with 3,564, or 56 percent of the total. Oertwich had 1,361, or 21 percent. Trailing them were Kuehler with 1,097 votes, or 17 percent, and Leischner with 327 votes, or 5 percent.

Moser was encouraged by the support he received.

“I appreciate the support of the citizens and everybody who helped me succeed,” Moser said.

Moser said he believes the hard work of putting up campaign yard signs and knocking on doors is ultimately what helped him move on to the general election.

“The plan I had worked out well, and I am encouraged by the results,” Moser said. “I’m gratified that it turned out well and we are going to keep working hard and move forward to general election.”

Moser will continue the same process as he moves toward the general election. He plans to get out and keep meeting voters and listen to their issues.

Oertwich said one thing that hurt him was the recent negative publicity in the form of some attack ads.

“It’s a new race,” Oertwich said of the November general election. “I’ve got just short of six months and I need to get out and go see the voters; have (the voters) understand where I stand and what I believe in and move forward.”

Oertwich said he feels that one of his weaknesses was that he didn’t get out more prior to the primary election. Oertwich also said he will be more prepared this time.

“We are going to go walk doors,” Oertwich said. “I’m going to go meet people and talk to them so that they know who I am and know what I stand for.”

Leischner said the fact that he did not raise as much money as the other candidates was part of the reason he did not advance. Education was one of the issues Leischner felt connected him with people. Leischner said he felt not all his opponents were on the same page as him in that respect.

Leischner said that although the Legislature is non-partisan, this race had partisan overtones.

“I had people say to me, ‘I agree with just about everything you say and if you were Republican I would vote for you,’ ” Leischner said.

Leischner said he believes that was the biggest obstacle he had to overcome, which is hard to do in a short and condensed primary campaign.

Kuehler said he believes the low voter turnout Tuesday hurt his chances of advancing.

“I think if the voter turnout was higher this would have been a different election,” Kuehler said.

Kuehler said that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind and that some people disagree with what he has to say. Kuehler said he won’t just tell constituents what they want to hear.

If there was something he could do differently about the campaign, Kuehler said he would try to get more people out to vote. He also felt that he had good discussions with people and made connections with them.

Although they said that they both enjoyed the process, Kuehler and Leischner said that they would probably not run again.