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Chase County to have new commissioner; Ricketts, Sasse advance in state races PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:46

By Russ Pankonin

The Imperial Republican


Voters in Chase County’s 2nd District decided in Tuesday’s Primary Election it was time for a new commissioner.

Challenger Dave Hogsett prevailed over four-term commissioner Jodi Thompson 203-125.

Since both ran on the Republican ticket and there are no Democratic challengers, Hogsett is assured of the job unless someone mounts a write-in campaign for the General Election in November.

In the race for the 44th District legislative seat, Dan Hughes of Venango won 40.7 percent of the vote with 3,406 votes. He will face Steve Stroup of Benkelman in the General Election, who finished second with 2,914 votes. Dennis Berry of McCook pulled 2,051 votes.

In nonpartisan legislative races, only the top two candidates advance to the General Election. Both Hughes and Stroup will be battling for the 2,051 votes won by Berry.


State races

This year’s state races provided for great political theater with a U.S. Senate seat up for grabs along with the major state offices up for election.

In the five-man Republican Senate race, Midland University President Ben Sasse, who’s backed by the Tea Party, won 49 percent of the vote. Banker Sid Dinsdale finished second with 22 percent of the vote while Shane Osborn took 21 percent of the vote.

Sasse will face Democrat Dave Domina in November’s General. Domina claimed 67 percent of the Democratic vote.

In the race for governor, businessman Pete Ricketts of Omaha narrowly defeated Attorney General Jon Bruning by a mere 2,171-vote margin.

Ricketts will now face Democrat Chuck Hassebrook in November. Hassebrook, the former executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs and a former University of Nebraska regent, ran unopposed.

In the attorney general race, Lincoln attorney Doug Peterson won the four-man race. He has served as a county prosecutor and assistant attorney general.

He will face Fremont attorney Janet Stewart who won the Democratic race with 72 percent of the parties vote.

In the state treasurer race, Republican incumbent Don Stenberg advanced to the General with 85 percent of the vote and will face Democrat Michael O’Hara who ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket.

Republican Charlie Janssen won the primary race for state auditor and will face Democrat Amanda McGill, who ran unopposed.

Secretary of State John Gale ran unopposed. The Democrats did not run a candidate. A libertarian candidate for the office pulled just 481 votes and won’t be a factor in the General Election.


Voter turnout

Statewide, only 27.4 percent of the state’s 1.152 million registered voters went to the polls.

Chase County bested that turnout, with 38.9 percent of the 2,529 registered voters going to the poll.

The General Election will occur Tuesday, Nov. 4.

More local races will appear on that ballot. A new law, LB 56, passed in this year’s short session affected whether or not partisan county office races appear on the Primary Election ballots.

When only one person files for a county partisan office, the race does not appear on the Primary ballot. The candidate is then declared as nominated and will appear on the General Election ballot for the respective races.

Many nonpartisan races, such as school boards, council, mayor, natural resource districts and public power districts, didn’t have enough candidates for run-offs in the Primary and weren’t on the Primary ballot.

Those races will appear on the General Election ballot and will be decided in November.