Attorney General Jon Bruning has filed to run for United States Senate.
Bruning filed this morning in Secretary of State John Gale’s office, officially entering the Republican primary. State Treasurer Don Stenberg has also filed. State Senator Deb Fischer of Valentine and businessman Pat Flynn of Schuyler have announced, but haven’t officially filed, yet.
Bruning said he’s not worried about a crowded Republican field.
“I’m going to worry about why I’m running,” Bruning told reporters, sticking to a theme he struck throughout a brief news conference after he filed: the federal debt. “I’m not worried about my opponents. I’m worried about why I’m running and what I’m going to do when I get there.”
It is apparent that Bruning believes the spending habits of Washington will be of big concern in Nebraska, as well as the federal health care overhaul.
Bruning began his race taking direct aim at incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson. He insisted it doesn’t really matter that Nelson decided against running for re-election, his crucial vote to enact the federal health care legislation remains the top issue in the campaign.
“I think so and I would suspect whoever they have fill in, whoever it is, whether it’s Bob Kerrey or somebody else they’re going to be in favor of that law. I’m clearly leading the lawsuit against it. That will be one of the major contrasts of the race: what do you think government’s role should be when it comes to health care? What do you think government’s role should be generally?” Bruning stated, “Those will be the types of issues that are debated in this race.”
Bruning said Nelson’s exit doesn’t change a thing.
“I’m going to be one of the folks who’s going to continue to lead by example. I’m going to make darn sure that we win that Obamacare lawsuit. I’m going to make darn sure that when I get to the Senate, that we cut the size and scope of government,” Bruning said. “Ben Nelson being in the race or not that doesn’t change why I’m running.”
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments against the federal healthcare overhaul this year. Nebraska is among the 26 states which filed the lawsuit. A ruling could come as early as June.
The deadline to file for the May 15th primary election in the Secretary of State’s office is February 15th, except for incumbents who have until March 1st to file.
AUDIO: Republican Jon Bruning discusses Sen. Nelson exit from US Senate race [1:30]