Governor Race Difficult to Keep Up With


Lincoln, NE -- The May primary is still months away, but the race for Nebraska Governor has been a whirlwind of activity with potential candidates jumping in or getting out.

Even for political analysts, it’s been hard to keep this race straight. On Thursday, there’s yet another possible candidate, which could shake things up even more.

Several months ago, case in point, former Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy who was considered by some to be the shoe-in for governor, all ended after a scandal.

And there was former speaker, Mike Flood, who dropped out of the race when his wife fell ill.

“It’s been crazy. To start off with Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy and Speaker Flood viewed as the individuals who were really there, the ones who had the race to lose in essence -- and for them to be out of the race very quickly and this other tier of other candidates who came in… it's very difficult to keep track of,” said Political Science Professor John Hibbing.

Hibbing says it can be confusing, because there has been so much change.

Like Senator Annette Dubas, a Democrat withdrew because of personal reasons—leaving Chuck Hassebrook, the only Democrat in the race.

The list of candidates continues to grow, like senators: Beau McCoy, Charlie Janssen, Tom Carlson, and Bryan Slone. Also, State Auditor Mike Foley and one-time U.S Senate candidate, Pete Ricketts.

Hibbing says Foley and Ricketts are the guys in front.

“I guess it’s one of those days where I’m probably happy not to be Mike Foley and Pete Ricketts, because they look like they were leading the race,” said Hibbing.

Now, throw in another potential candidate, Attorney General Jon Bruning — saying that he’s considering running for governor after successfully battling cancer.

“There’s a part of me that loves being attorney state general and thinks we’re doing a lot of good here. I believe we are and there’s a part of me that thinks I need to consider whether I can do more good as governor — it’s been a humbling 18 months, I'll tell you that,” said Jon Bruning.

Hibbing’s reaction to this latest news:

“I think the Bruning candidacy is going to be fascinating,” said Hibbing.

There are a few weeks until the deadline ends for anyone who wants to join the race to file.


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