Thursday, December 08, 2005

Democrats Have A Candidate - Hahn for Governor

by Kyle Michaelis

I'll be damned. It looks like the Republican primary between Dave Heineman and Tom Osborne won't end with a coronation.

The Omaha World-Herald reports:
Internet entrepreneur David Hahn of Lincoln said Wednesday that he has decided to enter the 2006 governor's race and would make a formal announcement soon.

"I have decided to run," said Hahn, 50, an attorney and CEO of New Digital Group, a Lincoln-based company that builds online publishing networks.

"I'm a Nebraskan, and I love this state," Hahn said. "All of these significant and serious issues that face us - both in the near and long term - need to be debated."

"I think we need new leadership," he said.

Hahn is the first Democrat to announce his candidacy. It would be his first bid for public office....

He declined to talk in depth about his political agenda, saying he would go into details about his stance on the issues when he makes a formal announcement, which he said would be soon.

"I believe I'm in the mainstream of Nebraska values and our history and culture, and that that will come out in debates," he said.

A political unknown, Hahn comes to the race with little name recognition but a political role model: former Nebraska Gov. Bob Kerrey.

Kerrey was little known and had few ties to the Nebraska Democratic Party when he defeated Republican Gov. Charles Thone in 1981.

Hahn is a fifth-generation Nebraskan who was born in Omaha and grew up in Stromsburg. He earned his undergraduate degree at Sterling College in Kansas and a law degree at the University of Nebraska School of Law in 1981.

Meanwhile, the AP shares the following:
"I just don't see any innovative and firm leadership in the right direction from any of the candidates on the Republican side," Hahn said in an interview late Wednesday. "Right now it's just a focus on who can fill out more tax cuts without any firm understanding of how we're going to pay for that"....

He said his campaign would focus on economic development, education, health and access to health care and rural revival.

"For too long we've just paid lip service to maintaining the rural part of our state," Hahn said.

When Hahn said he was considering a run for governor, the Nebraska Republican Party Chairman Mark Quandahl said that was "good news" and that Hahn would be a "great candidate."

Hahn promised to be engaged in the campaign and called for a series of eight televised debates with his Republican opponent.

When asked what it will take to win, Hahn said "Hard work and straightforward talk."

"I intend to meet and greet and talk with citizens all over the state," he said. "That will be right up to Election Day."

Got to say it's refreshing to see a candidate talk about the other side of the tax cut debate. Amazing that the addition of a Democrat to the electoral mix should have such an immediate impact.

I am certainly glad someone has stepped-up to this momentous task and look forward to hearing more from Mr. Hahn and learning more on where he stands. Best of luck to him. Nebraska will surely benefit from having what will hopefully prove a true alternative to nearly eight years of the Republican status quo (with all its incompetence, its slavery to monied interests, and the economic stagnation that has followed from both).


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