2012 elections review: Incumbents safe in NE legislative primaries

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May 16, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

Last night, Nebraska held legislative and congressional primary elections. A total of four congressional and 26 legislative seats are up for election in 2012.

Contested Primaries in Nebraska -- May 15, 2012
U.S. Senate
(1 seats)
U.S. House
(3 seats)
State Legislature
(26 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 1 (100%) 1 (33.33%) NA
Total Republican Contested Primaries 1 (100%) 3 (100%) NA
Total Nonpartisan Contested Primaries NA NA 22 (84.61%)


U.S. Senate

See also: United States Senate elections in Nebraska, 2012

In the race for the open Senate seat in Nebraska, Democratic candidate Bob Kerrey defeated candidates Larry Marvin, Steven P. Lustgarten, and Sherman Yates in the primary. He will advance to the general election where he will face off against winner from the Republican primary, state Senator Deb Fischer. Fischer narrowly defeated Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, Sharyn Elander, Pat Flynn, State Treasurer Don Stenberg, and Spencer Zimmerman in the Republican primary.

U.S. House

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Nebraska, 2012

In the 1st District, candidate Korey L. Reiman (D) ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket, while Republican incumbent Jeff Fortenberry defeated challengers Dennis Parker and Jessica L. Turek in the Republican primary.

In Nebraska's 2nd District, Democratic candidate John Ewing defeated state senator Gwen Howard in the Democratic primary. Ewing will take on Republican incumbent Lee Terry in the general election. Terry defeated four challengers in the Republican primary to advance to the general election in November.

Nebraska's 3rd District incumbent Adrian Smith defeated former NFL player Bob Lingenfelter in the Republican primary and will take on Democratic candidate Mark Sullivan in the general election. Sullivan ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Members of the U.S. House from Nebraska -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 0 0
     Republican Party 3 3
Total 3 3

State legislatures

See also: Nebraska State Senate elections, 2012

In a close finish, Cash Ostrander missed second place in the Senate District 43 primary by 56 votes out of the 8,277 votes cast. District 43 is an open seat currently held by the term-limited Deb Fischer.

All 17 incumbents who ran for re-election to the Nebraska State Senate advanced past the primary election. Only five incumbents faced primary competition, while the remaining 12 saw no opposition in the primary election.

Of those 12 unopposed incumbents, four were unopposed in the primary and will go unchallenged in the November 6 general election. They are:

See also