By Daniel Thompson

Sasse wins GOP Senate nomination, Bruning concedes governor race


Sydney Yalshevec

Residents of Kimball County cast their votes at the Kimball Event Center Tuesday, May 13.

Republican Senate candidate Ben Sasse will be facing off against Dave Domina, the Democratic nominee, for the open U.S. Senate seat left behind in the wake of Senator Mike Johanns' retirement.

Sasse, the president of Midland University, took a commanding lead early on Tuesday night gaining 44 percent of the vote with 16 percent of precincts reporting, easily jumping ahead of Sid Dinsdale with 25 percent of the vote and leaving Shane Osborn trailing with 23 percent of the vote.

Sasse eventually came out on top with the nomination at 49 percent of the vote.

Citizens United Political Victory Fund (CUPVF) which spent $250,000 on two television ads on Sasse's behalf, stated that Sasse's win was a sign that Nebraskans were ready for "real reform".

"Ben Sasse's decisive victory tonight is a major victory for the conservative movement against the Washington establishment," said David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United. "Ben Sasse will join Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate to stand against those who just want to manage the decay and kick our nation's debt crisis down the road. The people of Nebraska voted for real reform tonight."

In the congressional race for the Third District of Nebraska, Nebraskans overwhelmingly decided that incumbent Adrian Smith should keep his congressional seat with Smith gaining 68 percent of the vote over opponent Tom Brewer's 31 percent of the vote. Smith will face off against Democratic nominee Mark Sullivan who ran unopposed.

Perhaps the most intense and tight race of the night was between Republican gubernatorial candidates Pete Ricketts and Jon Bruning. Though Ricketts was able to take a lead of 30 percent of the vote over Bruning's 25 percent early on with 16 percent of precincts reporting, Bruning was able to make a comeback as the night progressed, keeping himself and Ricketts neck and neck throughout most of the night. However, shortly before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night, Bruning, who was the favored nominee in Kimball County with 32 percent of the vote and only trailing Ricketts by approximately 1,500 votes, conceded the primary race to Ricketts, solidifying Ricketts' nomination to take on Democratic nominee Chuck Hassebrook in the general election in November.

Ricketts, who recently stopped in Kimball for a Town Hall meeting at the Diner, has stated that, if elected governor in November, one of his primary focuses will be growing agriculture while also using his ag advisory team, consisting of representatives from corn, soybean, wheat, beef, pork, dairy, and other associations throughout the state, to stay in touch with constituents in the Nebraska Panhandle.

"Agriculture is the most important industry in the state. It's not something that's just confined to Omaha and Lincoln. In fact, it's not really in Omaha and Lincoln at all. That's how we're going to drive the overall growth of the state," Ricketts said. "My ag advisory team and all that, that's one of the ways I'm going to stay in touch with folks all across the state, not just folks in Omaha and Lincoln. Also, I'll continue to travel the state, because it's important that folks in Kimball see the governor just like they see them in Lincoln. And frankly, you hear things from folks that you won't find out just by reading the newspapers. You find out about it first by talking to people."

In the fight to take over the Republican nomination for attorney general, Doug Peterson, who previously served in the attorney general's office under Bob Spire, beat out opponents Brian Buescher and Mike Hilgers, who gained 25 percent and 22 percent of the vote respectively, with 35 percent of the vote.

In the Democratic race for attorney general, Janet Stewart beat out opponent Allen J. Eurek with 72 percent of the vote.

In Cheyenne County, voters decided against a proposed $17 million school bond in Sidney that would have gone to pay for a new K-4 school. The bond was defeated by 64 votes with 889 for the bond and 953 against it.

Locally, voter turnout left something to be desired. Out of 3,030 registered voters in Kimball County, only 622 showed up to the polls Tuesday. Republican voters had the highest turnout with 543 represented, casting 87 percent of the vote.

The general election will take place on November 4.


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