The numbers tell a lot about what is at stake today.
Four major Republican candidates compete for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican who is retiring from public office.
Six Republicans are running to succeed Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican forced to leave office due to term limits.
Four Republicans entered the race for Attorney General after Republican incumbent Jon Bruning decided to leave the office and run for governor.
Two Republicans are running for state Auditor, since Auditor Mike Foley decided to run for governor.
“It really is, I want to say, the most significant primary in so many ways that we’ve had in a couple of decades,” Secretary of State John Gale tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Gale notes it is rare for there to be open seats in the two major, statewide offices in the same election year. In 2012, three major candidates competed in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate after Democrat Ben Nelson decided to step down.
A lot of money has been spent on this campaign, primarily for television and radio advertising. Third party special interest groups have poured millions into the campaign, both for and against candidates.
The U.S. Senate race has attracted Midland University President Ben Sasse, former state Treasurer Shane Osborne, Pinnacle Bancorp President Sid Dinsdale, and Omaha attorney Bart McLeay to the Republican primary. Another candidate, Clifton Johnson of Ft. Calhoun, is on the Republican ballot, but hasn’t spent any money.
In the Republican primary for governor, six candidates compete: Attorney General Jon Bruning, former TD Ameritrade executive Pete Ricketts, Auditor Mike Foley, state Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, state Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege, and Omaha tax attorney Bryan Slone.
Four Republican attorneys are in the running for AG: Doug Peterson of Lincoln, Pete Pirsch of Omaha, Brian Buescher of Omaha, and Mike Hilgers of Lincoln.
In the Republican primary for Auditor pits Charlie Janssen of Fremont against Larry Anderson of Lincoln.
Secretary of State Gale expects that Republican field to create enough interest to push through the stubborn 25% voter turnout barrier for most primaries.
Gale predicts at least 44% turnout for Nebraska Republicans, perhaps more.
“If we’re all doing our part as citizens and paying attention and realizing the importance of this, we should have a 50% turnout of Republicans in this primary.”
That should propel overall voter turnout to past 30%.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]