October 31, 2014

Ricketts vs. Hassebrook for governor closer than many thought (AUDIO)

Pete Ricketts (right) listens to a voter

Pete Ricketts (right) listens to a voter

Republican Pete Ricketts won a narrow primary victory and it seems faces another tough race against Democrat Chuck Hassebrook as the two campaign to succeed Governor Dave Heineman.

A few polls have emerged on the Nebraska gubernatorial race, apparently a closer race than many expected.

Republican Pete Ricketts, the former TD Ameritrade executive, leads, but not by much.

“Well, I think if the polls are right, it’s good to be up, but again there’s nothing to be complacent about,” Ricketts tells Nebraska Radio Network. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. My opponent is a smart, savvy guy and I expect him to be a tough opponent.”

That opponent is Democrat Chuck Hassebrook, the former Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs. He expects the race to tighten.

Chuck Hassebrook shares a laugh with a voter

Chuck Hassebrook (right) shares a laugh with a voter

“For most of the summer, people aren’t real focused on the gubernatorial election,” Hassebrook tells Nebraska Radio Network. “But starting especially in September they will be and that is when it will be critical for us to get a clear and compelling message out to voters.”

A Rasmussen Reports public opinion poll seems typical of the few polls that have been taken on the race. Rasmussen in mid-May released a public opinion poll from 750 likely Nebraska voters which gave Ricketts a 47-40% lead over Hassebrook.

Ricketts narrowly edged Attorney General Jon Bruning in the Republican gubernatorial primary in which six Republicans vied for the party nod to succeed Gov. Heineman, a Republican. Heineman cannot run for re-election due to term limits.

AUDIO:  Brent Martin reports [:50]