2012 elections preview: Nebraska voters prepare for congressional and legislative primaries
The fast-moving primary season of May and June continues tomorrow with elections in Idaho, Nebraska and Oregon. In Nebraska, voters will decided on one U.S. Senate seat, three U.S. House races and 26 state legislative seats.
The Republican primary for U.S. Senate is anticipated to be very close, as presumed frontrunner Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning faces serious competition from state Senator Deb Fischer and state Treasurer Don Stenberg.
|Contested Primaries in Nebraska -- May 15, 2012|
| U.S. Congress
| State Legislature |
|Total Democratic Contested Primaries||1 (33.33%)||10 (38.46%)*|
|Total Republican Contested Primaries||3 (100%)||10 (38.46%)*|
|* Note: Nebraska's legislature is nonpartisan, so candidates do not list party affiliations.|
Republican voters will choose between Jon Bruning, Deb Fischer, Don Stenberg, Sharyn Elander, Pat Flynn, and Spencer Zimmerman. Fischer, a state senator, has received an endorsement from Sarah Palin, and many conservative PACs are supporting her over Nebraska Attorney General Bruning. Meanwhile, state Treasurer Don Stenberg was endorsed by South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, and national conservative super PAC Club for Growth Action has funded ads supporting him.
A total of 14 candidates have filed to run, made up of 4 Democratic challengers, 7 Republican challengers, and 3 incumbents. Including the three states with primaries tomorrow, a total of 106 U.S. House seats have held primaries. Thus far, 58.02% of possible primaries have been contested. In Nebraska, all three incumbents face primary challenges.
- In the 1st District, incumbent Jeff Fortenberry faces Dennis Parker and Jessica L. Turek in the Republican primary. Democrat Korey L. Reiman is unopposed.
- In the 2nd District, incumbent Lee Terry is challenged by Jack Heidel, Brett Lindstrom, Glenn Freeman, Paul Anderson. In the Democratic primary, Gwen Howard faces John Ewing.
- In the 3rd District, Bob Lingenfelter is challenging Republican incumbent Adrian Smith, and Mark Sullivan is unopposed in the Democratic primary.
|Members of the U.S. House from Nebraska -- Partisan Breakdown|
|Party||As of November 2012||After the 2012 Election|
There are 26 total legislative seats with elections in 2012. There are 10 (38.5%) contested primaries in the Nebraska State Senate, which is higher than the current national contested average of 23.42% for states that have had filing deadlines. Five of the 17 incumbents who are seeking election will face primary opposition in 2012.
Nebraska's legislature is nonpartisan, meaning candidates do not declare party affiliations. The top two vote-getters in each primary will go on to the general election.
A total of 9 incumbents, or 18.4% of the total senate seats, are ineligible to run for the senate again due to term limits. They are: Abbie Cornett (District 45), Chris Langemeier (District 23), Deb Fischer (District 43), Gwen Howard (District 9), Lavon Heidemann (District 1), LeRoy Louden (District 49), Mike Flood (District 19), Rich Pahls (District 31), and Tony Fulton (District 29).
The 38.46% of contested primaries in Nebraska is above the current national contested average of 23.42% for states that have had signature filing deadlines.
- United States House of Representatives elections in Nebraska, 2012
- United States Senate elections in Nebraska, 2012
- Nebraska State Senate elections, 2012
- National Review: The Corner, "Late-Charging Fischer Has Nebraska Senate Primary Too-Close-to-Call," May 14, 2012
- Breitbart.com, "Fiscally conservative PAC ads favor Fischer over Bruning," May 12, 2012
- NPR "Republicans Zero In On Nebraska's U.S. Senate Seat," May 14, 2012
- Club for Growth, "New TV Ad By Club for Growth Action Hits Bruning On Government-Run Healthcare," May 2, 2012
- Minnesota House of Representatives, "Nebraska's Unicameral Legislature - House Research," accessed May 14, 2012