Voters narrow the field in Nebraska legislative races
Twenty-four races in the Nebraska Legislature appeared on primary ballots. The top two vote-getters advance to the general election in November. Eight incumbent senators left the Legislature, including six term-limited senators and two who chose not to seek re-election.
Republican incumbent Sen. Robert Clements, who was appointed last year by Gov. Pete Ricketts, will face Democrat Susan Lorence in the general election for the seat representing Cass County and part of Sarpy County.
Incumbent Sen. Theresa Thibodeau, a Republican also appointed by Ricketts last year, will face Democrat Machaela Cavanaugh for the seat representing the district in west-central Omaha.
Megan Hunt, owner of Hello Holiday boutique in Omaha, held a comfortable lead over two fellow Democrats in the race to represent the 8th Legislative District. Mina Davis and Josh Henningsen, also newcomers, were competing for the second spot, but the race was too close to call Tuesday night.
Sen. John McCollister, a moderate Republican, breezed to victory in a three-way primary race in this south-central Omaha district. He will face off against Jackie Collett, an IT project manager and a progressive Democrat, in the general election.
Former Columbus Mayor Mike Moser, a Republican, will join Pilger farmer Doug Oertwich, who was backed by Ricketts, in the general election in east-central Nebraska’s District 22. State Sen. Paul Schumacher, who endorsed Moser, was term-limited.
The fall election will pit two farmers, Myron Dorn and Don Schuller, against each other for the legislative district south of Lincoln. Dorn, who is in his second term serving on the Gage County Board, is a Republican; Schuller, who earlier had a career with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, is a Democrat. They’re looking to replace Sen. Roy Baker, who did not seek re-election.
Incumbent Sen. Laura Ebke advanced to the general election, but she trailed newcomer Tom Brandt after the primary vote. Ebke is a Libertarian and Brandt is a Republican farmer.
In this south-central Nebraska district, Glenvil farmer Dave Murman and Minden attorney Marsha Fangmeyer advanced in a five-way race. Incumbent State Sen. John Kuehn of Heartwell opted against seeking re-election.
In a very close, six-way race to replace term-limited State Sen. Tyson Larson, it appears that Tim Gragert, a retired federal worker from Creighton, and Keith Kube, a retired financial planner from Crofton, will face off in the general election. Bloomfield farmer Shane Greckel and Ponca businessman Tom Ferry weren’t far behind in late returns.