Monday, December 18, 2006

Who Will the Republicans Nominate?

by Ryan Anderson
Maybe I'm alone, but Kyle's thread discussing possible Democratic candidates in a Senate election that's still two years away just wasn't enough to satisfy my insatiable hunger for idle speculation. I wanna know: if Hagel retires, who will the GOP nominate?

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.


Blogger Dave said...

Oh, how I would love for Lee Terry to run for Senate. It gives us a great upper-hand in NE-02 against Dan Welch or the turncoat, Abbie Cornette, or whoever else runs for that seat on the Republican side. It's sure to be a bloody primary for Senate and maybe even the House, while our prospective nominees for both seats - battle tested from past campaigns - have the upper-hand.

I have to echo your endorsement from a couple weeks back. I'd love Hal Daub as the Republican nominee. Especially if Mike Fahey runs against him. It may be a landslide victory rivaling Nelson's.

Anonymous Jason B said...

Lee Terry would be nice, an open NE-2 race with a candidate like Barack Obama or John Edwards at the top of the ticket would certainly bring high turnout, which in Omaha would help a guy like Esch a lot. He's already proven to be a viable candidate.


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