Nebraska Republicans sought this morning to unite behind Deb Fischer in wake of a tough primary for United States Senate.
State Republican Party Chairman Mark Fahleson told a news conference at the party headquarters in Lincoln that Republicans have been successful in Nebraska, because they reflect Nebraskan values.
“Second, the Republican Party has been more successful, because we embrace competitive primaries,” according to Fahleson who was flanked by Gov. Dave Heineman, U.S. Senate candidate Deb Fischer and her former rivals Attorney General Jon Bruning and state Treasurer Don Stenberg. “Republicans believe that competition is a good thing. It makes us all better. And, after the competition, we come together, we unite for a common goal and that’s giving a better government, a better society to all of Nebraskans and our country.”
Heineman reminded the gathering that it is only half-time and that Republican must focus on defeating Democrat Bob Kerrey in November. Heineman expressed confidence that Fischer, a state senator from Valentine, can do just that.
“I’ve worked with Sen. Fischer for the past eight years in her role in the legislature and, let me tell you, she is strong, tough and effective,” Heineman said. “She has Nebraska values, not New York values.”
Republicans struck that theme often during the news conference, indicating the strategy ahead in their battle against Kerrey, who though a former Nebraska governor and United States Senator, had lived in New York for more than a decade.
Fischer said she anticipates a rugged general election campaign.
“We have as hard campaign (ahead),” Fischer said. “As the governor said, there are stark contrasts between myself and Mr. Kerrey. Nebraskans know that. We need a senator; we need a U.S. Senator, from Nebraska who’s going to represent Nebraska values, Nebraska people. That’s important and I will be that senator.”
Attorney General Bruning and Treasurer Stenberg have pledged to support the candidacy of their former Republican primary opponent.
AUDIO: Nebraska Republicans hold unity news conference. [8:40]