Nebraska Democrats have their candidate.
Oh sure, Larry Marvin of Femont, Steven Lustgarten of Omaha and Sherman Yates of Lincoln have all filed in the Democratic primary for United States Senate. But, the campaign so far has been better known for which Democrats have not gotten in than which have.
Now enters Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs, Chuck Hassebrook, jumping into the breach left by incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson and former U. S. Sen. Bob Kerrey. Nelson announced late last year he would not seek a third term, but instead would retire from public office. Kerrey toyed with the idea of returning to Nebraska from New York and running for his old seat, then dropped the idea and declined to enter the race.
Hassebrook has some name recognition and not just from his position heading the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons. He has won election to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A run for United States Senate is different and Hassebrook pledges to run a different campaign. He says his campaign will focus on working for the common good of America.
“The common good of all of Nebraska, from the heart of Omaha and Lincoln to the smallest towns and farms and ranches,” Hassebrook says in an interview with Nebraska Radio Network. “That’s what I’m going to make the race about and that’s what the race should be about.”
Hassebrook believes he has an advantage not all Democratic candidates have running for statewide office. As director of the center, Hassebrook has name recognition in rural Nebraska. He says people will vote for someone who shares their values and will go to Washington to fight for them. Hassebrook says he fits that bill.
As for money, Hassebrook acknowledges he will have to prove himself a viable candidate before the national party begins funneling money into the race.
Republicans who have filed are Attorney General Jon Bruning, State Treasurer Don Stenberg, State Senator Deb Fischer as well as Schuyler businessman Pat Flynn and Spencer Zimmerman of Omaha.
February 15th was the deadline for officeholders to file in the Secretary of State’s office. Those not currently holding office have until March 1st to file.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]
AUDIO: Brent Martin interviews Democratic U. S. Senate candidate Chuck Hassebrook [11 min]