Wealthy Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts prevailed in a tightly contested Republican race for Nebraska governor on Tuesday, defeating Jon Bruning, the state’s longtime attorney general and four other contenders who sought to replace Gov. Dave Heineman.

Ricketts won by around 2150 votes over Bruning, with just 26 per cent of the total to Bruning’s 25 per cent. Beau McCoy had 21 per cent.

The 49 year old Ricketts will be a heavy favorite in the November general election against Democrat Chuck Hassebrook, as Republicans have held the Nebraska governor’s office since 1999.

For Bruning, it was his second defeat in recent years after he fell short in a 2012 U.S. Senate primary to Deb Fischer.

Hassebrook, the Democratic nominee, is a former University of Nebraska regent who led the Center for Rural Affairs.

Hassebrook has spent the last several months building a campaign network, fundraising and presenting himself to voters as a champion of rural Nebraska.


Midland University president Ben Sasse has won Nebraska’s Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, giving the tea party a major victory.

The Tuesday primary win in a five-man race makes Sasse a huge favorite in November’s general election, where he’ll face Democrat Dave Domina.

The winner will replace Republican Senator Mike Johanns, who didn’t seek a second term.

Voters chose Sasse over former state treasurer Shane Osborn, bank president Sid Dinsdale, Omaha attorney Bart McLeay and Fort Calhoun hotel owner Clifton Johnson.

Omaha attorney Dave Domina easily defeated Larry Marvin of Fremont to win the Democratic primary election for U.S. Senate.

Domina is best known for his opposition to construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Congressman Adrian Smith has defeated his Republican challenger in the primary race for Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District.

The four-term congressman who represents Dakota County and western Nebraska, beat Tom Brewer, who served for 36 years in the Nebraska National Guard and was deployed six times to Afghanistan.

Smith serves on the powerful, tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

He will face Democrat Mark Sullivan in the November general election.
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry won the Republican primary race for Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District.

Fortenberry coasted to victory Tuesday in a race against two other GOP candidates, Dennis Parker and Jessica Turek.

He is seeking a sixth term in Congress to represent an area that includes Lincoln, Fremont and Norfolk.

Fortenberry enters the November general election race as a heavy favorite.

He will face Democrat Dennis Crawford, a Lincoln attorney.