Nebraska Republicans Look to Unite for November

By  | 

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- With crowded primary races behind them, the winners and losers of Nebraska's Republican contests are looking to unite before the November general election.

"We got a deep bench here in Nebraska, we saw it in the governor's race," said Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts.

The candidates convened at the Nebraska Republican Party headquarters on Wednesday to try to heal the divisions created by tight and bitter races for governor and U.S. Senate. The party also saw competitive GOP races for attorney general and state auditor.

"The great thing is to pull everyone together to understand that we as a party have to unite and get ready for the next election," said Ricketts.

Nebraska Republican Party Chairman J.L. Spray says the party has to come together in order to succeed.

Gov. Dave Heineman says the competition helps strengthen the party, despite the disappointing outcomes for many of the candidates.

Sitting on the sidelines was Democrat Chuck Hassebrook who ran unopposed he say he's eager to shift his campaign to another gear.

"I'm excited to get started, we've been preparing for this for 8-9 months, we've built a strong campaign," said Hassebrook.

Hassebrook says he knows he has an uphill battle. "We Nebraskans we're independent and we vote for the person and I think I match up well with Pete Ricketts."

He says he'll showcase his rural roots whereas Ricketts touts his experience as a businessman to run Nebraska.

"I think what we need to do is build on a great foundation that governor Heineman's got, kept the lid on taxes and spending and now take it to the next level," said Ricketts.

Even in a traditional red state, Ricketts isn't going to take this race lightly.

"We're not going to take anything for granted, but we're going to get it done," said Ricketts.

"Now voters have a clear choice, they know what the options are," said Hassebrook.

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Ben Sasse will face Democrat Dave Domina in November. Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts will face Democrat Chuck Hassebrook.