An Early Look at the Nebraska Political Landscape of 2014


Nebraska politicians are licking their chops as two major seats are opening up in 2014. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman will be termed out and U.S. Senator Mike Johanns announced his retirement earlier this year.

"It's an unusual time, I don't recall the last time there's been a governor's and open Senate seat," said Vince Powers, the Nebraska Democratic Party Chairman.

Currently, all five of Nebraska's top seats representing in Washington D.C. are filled by Republicans; the two U.S. Senators Deb Fischer and Mike Johanns as well as the three U.S. House Representatives Lee Terry, Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith.

"It's never good that you have one party being in power completely. You need different ideas," said Powers.

However, Nebraska Republican Party Chairman Mark Fahleson disagrees, saying "While they may be from the same party, they have different ideas and different positions on various issues."

Some early predictions for the Democratic side say possible candidates for the governor or senate spots could be Omaha State Senator Steve Lathrop, or Rural Affair Director and former Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook or even State Senator Annette Dubas.

Scottsbluff attorney Mike Meister says he is interested in running again. He failed to beat Gov. Heineman back in 2010.

On the Republican side, Gov. Heineman said he may be interested in the senate spot. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry says he's weighing his options on a senate run.

Charlie Janssen, a state senator from Fremont already announced his candidacy for governor earlier this year.

"I think in 2014 it's going to be time to throw those rascals out," said Powers.

"I'm quite confident that our next governor and our next U.S. senator will both be Republicans," said Fahleson.

Only 596 days until the general election.