Gov. Dave Heineman said today Republican Deb Fischer won an impressive victory for United States Senate, leading a party sweep in the state.
“She ran a positive campaign. She was right on the issues as far as Nebraskans were concerned, relative to a balanced budget, lower taxes, Obamacare,” Heineman told reporters during a news conference in his office. “Last night was historic in our state, because for the first time in 36 years now, we’re going to have an all-Republican federal delegation and an all-Republican constitutional officer team.”
Republican Lee Terry squeaked out a narrow victory to hold on to his Second Congressional seat in Omaha. Republican Jeff Fortenberry easily won re-election in the First Congressional District as did Republican Adrian Smith in the Third Congressional District.
Fischer won the seat now held by Democrat Ben Nelson, who is retiring from public service. Fischer easily defeated Democrat Bob Kerrey who had returned to Nebraska to run for his old seat in an attempt by Democrats to retain it.
Heineman pointed out that voters overwhelmingly rejected the two legislative constitutional amendments on the ballot.
“I think the voters in Nebraska spoke loud and clear that they want a citizen legislature,” according to Heineman. “And they said that by voting ‘No’ to the pay raise and ‘No’ to expanded term limits.”
Constitutional amendment number three would have expanded legislative term limits from two consecutive terms to three. It received only 255,675 votes, with 468,210 voting against; a margin of defeat of 65% to 35%.
Constitutional amendment number four would have increase legislative pay from $12,000 annually to $22,500. It lost by a greater margin, with only 230,419 voting in favor and nearly half a million votes (498,126) cast against it; a margin of defeat of 68-32.
Heineman came out early to support Gov. Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidency, one of the first Republican governors to endorse Romney. Heineman acknowledged that Romney’s loss to President Obama disappointed him.
“The one thing I’ve always said, I respect the voters when they have spoken. That is the voice we should hear the loudest. The voters have spoken,” Heineman stated. “The one advice I’d give for everybody in Washington, D.C.; it’s now time for the president, the House and the Senate to come together and resolve these issues, particularly as it relates to economy and jobs and the federal budget.”
Though Romney lost narrowly to Obama nationally, he won more than 60% of the vote in Nebraska with the president receiving only 38%.
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman reflects on the election results. [1:20]