Nebraska Republicans swept to victory in the general election in November.
It appears that despite a strong off-presidential election year for the party out of the White House, incumbent Republican Lee Terry, the Congressman from Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District in Omaha, will lose his seat to Democrat Brad Ashford.
Approximately 15,000 votes remain to be counted, but Ashford has opened a lead on Terry of slightly more than 4,000 votes. According to unofficial vote totals from the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office, Ashford has 76,354 votes to Terry’s 72,222; a margin of 48.64% to 46.01%. The Libertarian candidate in the race, Steven Laird, almost certainly made a difference in this race. He so far as received 8,391 voters, of slightly more than 5% of the total.
Still, the night belonged to Republicans.
United States Senate candidate Ben Sasse, the Midland University president, followed up his impressive Republican primary win with a big victory on Tuesday.
Sasse received nearly 65% of the vote. His vote total of 339,868 far exceeded that of Democrat Dave Domina. The Omaha attorney received 31.06% of the vote with an unofficial total of 162,874. Two independents in the race, Jim Jenkins and Todd Watson, were non-factors. Jenkins received 15,513 votes, just under 3% of the total. Watson barely received 1% of the vote; 6,114 votes.
He succeeds fellow Republican Mike Johanns and joins Republican Deb Fischer in the United States Senate, which now will be controlled by Republicans as victories across the country switched the majority in the Senate from Democrat to Republican.
For Republican Pete Ricketts, the general election provided a more comfortable victory than the Republican primary. Ricketts, who squeezed out a victory in the primary, received nearly 58% of the vote; 301,646 votes. Democrat Chuck Hassebrook received nearly 39% of the vote, with 203,968. Libertarian Mark Elworth, Jr. finished a distant third with 18,454 votes, or 3.52% of the total.
Incumbent Republican Secretary of State John Gale as well as incumbent Republican Treasurer Don Stenberg easily won re-election.
Republican Doug Peterson defeated Democrat Janet Stewart in the Attorney General’s race. Peterson won more than 66% of the vote, with an unofficial total of 332,300 to 167,158.
Republican Charlie Janssen won the state Auditor’s race, which pitted two state senators against each other. Janssen received nearly 60% of the vote; 288,035 to Democrat Amanda McGill’s 40%; 196,217.
Though Congressman Terry is in real danger of losing his seat, Nebraska’s other two Congressmen, Jeff Fortenberry in the 1st Congressional District and Adrian Smith in the 3rd Congressional District easily won re-election.
In a closely watched race for University of Nebraska Board of Regents, incumbent Rob Schafer held off a challenge by Steve Glenn. Schafer garnered 31,931 votes, or 53.41% of the total, to Glenn’s 27,857 votes, or 46.59% of the total.
The minimum wage issue issued passed easily. More than 300,000 Nebraska voters cast ballots in favor of raising the state minimum wage to $9/hour over a two-year period. Only slightly more than 200,000 voted against it.
For full election results, click here for the Secretary of State’s website.