Monday, March 14, 2005

Democratic Free Agents

by Kyle Michaelis
Seems like our new Liutenant Governor, former Hastings mayor Rick Sheehy, isn't the only recent Democratic defector in office. Has the Democratic party really abandoned these people or is this just personal ambition and daunting demographics working their mojo? Either way, something's got to be done. It's pretty obvious the Nebraska Republican party isn't content with the majority they've got, as they're still making an active effort to bring the best and brightest over to their team.

These defections at the local level have to stop because that's where we most need to be making in-roads if we're going to have a chance at taking back this state. The Republicans are proving to be like George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees using every ounce of capital they've got to squeeze us out. Here's hoping we've got some of that Boston Red Sox underdog magic from last year working for us.

Remember what happened to the Evil Empire in Star Wars - "the more they tighten their grip, the more people who will slip through their fingers."

Then again, did Princess Leia really know a damn thing about Nebraska politics?

Published Monday, March 14, 2005

Democrat Lynam's switch gives Republicans a sweep at Sarpy courthouse


Until last month, Tom Lynam was the only elected department head in the Sarpy County Courthouse who was a Democrat.

But the 48-year-old Sarpy County surveyor has taken the path of some other courthouse Democrats before him and switched his party affiliation to Republican.

His crossover puts the GOP in charge of all the courthouse departments.

The GOP holds a 3-2 advantage on the county board.

In voter registration, Republicans outnumber Democrats in the county by a wide margin: 41,643 registered Republicans versus 25,196 Democrats and 15,838 Independents.

Until the 1980s, however, Democrats held the lead in registration. From the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, Republicans held just two partisan posts in county government.

Lynam, a Catholic who has been surveyor 14 years and is up for re-election in 2006, said said his pro-life view fits better with the Republican Party.

He also said he gained a new perspective when his son, Andrew, 18, enlisted in the Marines last November.

"A stronger military is more important to me now," he said.

Bill Forsee, treasurer of the Sarpy County Democratic Party, said Lynam is responding to a demographic shift in the county.

John Strawn, chairman of the Sarpy County Republican Party, welcomed the conversion, which he said Lynam had contemplated for several years.

Several other converts, including County Clerk Deb Houghtaling, who switched to the GOP in 1997, urged him to join the party, Strawn said.


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