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Election 2022: Nebraska GOP candidates for governor make last push before primary

From Omaha to Seward and Lincoln, the top three Republicans crisscrossed the state to make their closing arguments to Nebraska voters.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:08 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s down to the wire in the campaign to be Nebraska’s next governor. Political experts and pollsters are expecting a tight race.

With so many outstanding early ballots, some are wondering if we’ll have to wait to know who won.

The top Republican candidates for governor are crisscrossing the state making their closing arguments to voters. From the Valentino’s restaurant in Seward, and venue restaurant in southeast Lincoln, to the Omaha Marriott in the capitol district Omaha.

The top three polling Republicans for governor met with voters in small groups. In a primary with nine candidates, every single vote matters.

In the last crowded primary for governor without an incumbent in 2014, Pete Ricketts won by just 2,300 votes.

Ricketts is flying around Nebraska supporting his candidate, Columbus Agribusinessman Jim Pillen.

Ricketts talked about Pillen’s business experience, sharing how he thinks it will benefit Nebraska.

“In my administration, we have delivered through my eight years $4 billion in property tax relief,” Ricketts said. “We’ve done that by controlling our spending. Jim gets that and he will continue to build on that and deliver even more tax relief in the future.”

“Right now the data would probably say that one in five are still undecided and we can make a big difference to push this thing across,” Pillen said. “Every single vote is really really important.”

Ricketts also commended Pillen for fighting critical race theory and for his stance on abortion.

“We want a man who’s going to protect the unborn. We want a man who’s going to fight critical race theory. We want a man who’s going to understand what it means to grow jobs here in Nebraska,” Ricketts said.

Now the big question is will the race be so close we'll know who won Tuesday night or will have to wait until Wednesday?

While Pillen traveled with an entourage on the last day of campaigning, his opponent Brett Lindstrom did not.

After speaking in Grand Island, the Omaha state senator and financial advisor met with voters in Lincoln.

“I knew from the get-go I’d run a positive campaign,’ Lindstrom said. “I knew they’d be coming after me at some point. And the fact that they are double and triple down going after me is a good sign because we have the momentum.”

After a trip to the Village of Byron, with a population of just 80 people, Falls City rancher Charles Herbster met with a small group of voters in Seward.

“There’s a swamp in Nebraska,” Herbster said. “Let’s not kid ourselves. There is a powerful, money-driven and ego-driven political establishment in Nebraska. Of course there is.”

Meanwhile, Ricketts did not mince his words attacking Charles Herbster.

“Charles Herbster is also not somebody of integrity,” Ricketts said. He didn’t pay his property taxes here in Nebraska over 500 times. He’s happy to let you bear the burden while he doesn’t have to pay his property taxes. There’s one rule for him and one rule for everybody else with Charles Herbster.”

Now the big question is will the race be so close we’ll know who won Tuesday night, or will we have to wait until Wednesday?

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