Thirty-two years ago Nebraska voters put Kay Orr in the governor's seat, the first Republican governor to be elected in the U.S. Her challenger that year was another woman. Ashford, a former Republican, ran a more moderate campaign and had the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. While he served just one term in Congress, he has a long career in the state legislature, serving as an independent, a Republican and a Democrat.
In the gubernatorial race, GOP Gov. Pete Ricketts and Democratic state Sen.
The potential problem for Democrats is that Eastman's outspoken liberalism may turn off general-election voters in Nebraska's 2nd District, which, while not ruby red, is still red. Krist held off two other candidates to win the Democratic nomination. Bob Krist, university instructor Tyler Davis and community activist Vanessa Ward, all of Omaha.
Her Democratic challengers include Lincoln City Councilwoman Jane Raybould, retired farmer, attorney and judge Frank Svoboda of Lincoln; retired Fremont real estate broker Larry Marvin; and Chris Janicek, the owner of an Omaha specialty cake business.
Ricketts ran against Krystal Gabel of Omaha, a registered Republican who has volunteered to create the Legal Marijuana Now Party of Nebraska.
Democrat Paul Theobald is unopposed for his party's nomination but will be a giant underdog in the overwhelmingly Republican district.
Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer is one step closer to earning a second term in office.
Murante outraised Royal and won the endorsements of the state's top political leaders, including Gov. Pete Ricketts, current State Treasurer Don Stenberg and former Gov. Kay Orr.
The polls have closed in a Nebraska primary election that will set up races for U.S. Senate, governor and the U.S. House.
The Democratic candidates had been locked in a virtual tie most of the night.