State Republican Party Chairman Mark Fahleson calls Sen. Ben Nelson’s retirement a win-win-win.
“It was a win for America. It was a win for Nebraska,” Fahleson tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln with Coby Mach. “And, frankly, it was a win for Ben Nelson. He certainly has served our state and I wish him the best in his retirement.”
Fahleson says Nelson’s timing leaves Nebraska Democrats in a lurch.
“Right now, the Democrats are without a candidate. They’re reaching out supposedly to former Sen. Bob Kerrey. I mean, next thing you know they’ll be asking that William Jennings Bryant get on the ballot,” Fahleson says.
Fahleson says Nelson’s decision to retire could prompt other Republicans to reconsider entering the race, including all three of the state’s Congressmen. He says he talked with Gov. Dave Heineman who reiterated his decision to not enter the race, at least not right now.
Nelson’s crucial vote in favor of the federal health care overhaul likely led to his unexpected retirement, according to Fahleson. Fahleson speculates that Nelson’s vote in favor of the federal health care bill crippled him politically.
“What I would say is this; had Sen. Nelson not cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, my guess is we would not have probably made the decision that he made,” Fahleson says.
Fahleson says a number of Democrats likely are considering the race and the eventual nominee might be someone nobody expects.