Who Will the Republicans Nominate?by Ryan Anderson
On paper, Attorney General Jon Bruning seems to be a shoe-in. Unlike most of the other candidates eyeing this race, he's actually won statewide. He's got a knack for putting himself out in front of popular legal crusades and he hasn't been shy about using public funds to raise his profile and lay the groundwork for his next race, whatever it may be.
But he reportedly has a very frosty relationship with Senator Hagel (the Grand Pooh-Bah of the state GOP) and it seems unlikely that either Hagel or Governor Heineman would support a Bruning Senate bid. But if not Bruning, whom will Hagel tap as his successor?
Maybe Mike Johanns? Again, a candidate with strong statewide appeal and a solid base in Lincoln, a must-win for any statewide Democratic candidate. But Johanns has largely stayed out of state politics since moving to Washington, and I can't even tell which side of the Hagel/Bruning split he's supposed to be on.
Lee Terry is about as exciting as a wet sponge, but he's one of the few Republicans in the state who have actually faced down credible Democratic challengers. Neither he nor Hal Daub seems to have much statewide appeal, but that hasn't stopped either from testing the waters.
Which isn't saying a whole lot. Republicans will likely crawl out of the woodwork for the chance to run for an open Senate seat in Nebraska. Feel free to speculate. Who knows? It could be Alan Keyes.