Catching up I

Republican nominee for governor Pete Ricketts has chosen the current lieutenant governor, Lavon Heidemann, as his running mate.

Heidemann, 55, has been lieutenant governor since February 2013, Lavon Heidemanwhen he was appointed to the post by Gov. Dave Heineman to replace Lt. Gov.Rick Sheehy. Heideman served eight years in the legislature, six years as chairman of the appropriations committee. In 2012, he was elected a University of Nebraska regent.

Heidemann, whose website describes him as a farmer, rancher and volunteer firefighter, links the billionaire Ricketts to the everyday world of agriculture. As a former state senator, Heidemann also would be an asset in dealing with the legislature. Ricketts has no previous experience in government.

Ricketts faces Chuck Hassebrook in the race to replace the term-limited Heineman.

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What does uVoted4them.com think of Gov. Heineman’s bid to become president of the University of Nebraska?

Since you asked, we think he’s too old. He’ll be 67 when his term ends, and we’d prefer he pursue the normal activities of a retired Dave Heinemangovernor his age: Run for another office, find a nonprofit to join, sit on corporate boards, scout Washington for a lobbying gig. Who knows? There’s an election in 2016, and there might be a new Republican administration looking for a guy just like him.

No offense to the governor, but we just think he’s too old to start a new career as the top administrator of an institution as large and diverse as the university system. Maybe if he’d done a better job with the large and diverse state Department of Health and Human Services …

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Jim Jenkins of Callaway, an independent in the race to succeed Mike Johanns in the U.S. Senate, told the Fremont Tribune that he has more than enough signatures to get his name on the ballot, and will be submitting them in a couple of weeks.

Jim JenkinsJenkins runs the family ranch in Custer County. After college, he worked in Illinois and Ohio , then returned to Nebraska to raise his family. He launched the Whiskey Creek Steakhouse chain and Skeeter Barnes restaurants.

Jenkins also was chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

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Daniel Keylin, who Nebraskans might remember as communications director for Sen. Deb Fischer during her successful 2012 campaign, has joined the staff of Thom Tillis, according to Roll Call. Tillis is the current house speaker in North Carolina. He is trying to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.

 

Wednesday

Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz

Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts has scored the endorsement of the U.S. Senate’s leading rabble-rouser and blowhard, Ted Cruz.

Congratulations, Pete!

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Wednesday night’s debate among the six Republican candidates for governor will be live streamed by the Norfolk Daily News. Doors open at the Johnny Carson Theater at Norfolk High School at 6:15 p.m., and a reception will be held in the cafeteria before the 7 p.m. start of the 90-minute debate. It is being sponsored by the Nebraska Republican Party, Norfolk High School and the Norfolk Daily News. Editor Kent Warneke reports that 600 tickets have been distributed, but plenty of good seats remain in the 1,234-seat theater.

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KRVN radio in Lexington reports that the Nebraska Farmers Union has endorsed Democratic Senate candidate Dave Domina, an Omaha-based attorney.

DaveDominaPortrait“We know that Nebraska agriculture will be well served by sending David Domina to the Senate,” said a statement from Gale Lush of Wilcox, president of the group’s political action committee, NEBFARMPAC. “His expertise in water and private property rights will serve our state well in the United States Senate.”

Nebraska Farmers Union is the state’s second largest general farm and ranch association, with 6,000 members. It supports ethanol, wind energy, and country-of-origin labeling, and opposes vertical integration in the farm economy.

 

Notes from the campaign trail, Part 2

Rumor has it that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, all but certain to be a 2016 presidential candidate, will be the main draw at a Nebraska Republican Party fundraiser this spring. Stay tuned for details.

After months of speculation, Omaha attorney David Domina is set to announce his candidacy for U.S. Senate as a Democrat. Rumors swirled for months that Domina would take the plunge for either the Senate seat opened by Mike Johanns’ retirement or challenge U.S. Rep. Lee Terry for the 2nd District seat. Domina’s announcement is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Capitol Rotunda. After a luncheon in Omaha, he’ll embark on a six-day tour of the state.

Bart McLeay, an Omaha attorney and Republican candidate for Senate, has a new video about agriculture. McLeay’s grandfather served Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers after opening a medical practice in Stapleton in 1900, and McLeay says he will continue to fight for Nebraska’s ag producers. As a lawyer, he has represented landowners along the Niobrara River and protected irrigation rights on the Republican River.

Over the weekend, Jordan Gehrke senior advisor to Republican Senate candidate Ben Sasse,  Tweeted this unseemly artwork. Two unrelated quotes taken out of context and made 50 years apart? Very classy, Sasse. What’s next? Hitler and Obama?

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