Senate Candidates Face Off in State Fair Debate


Six senate candidates faced off in a debate at the Nebraska State Fair Monday.

Democrat Dave Domina, Republican Ben Sasse and Independents Todd Watson and Jim Jenkins are all on the ballot, vying for Senator Mike Johanns' seat.

Dennis Macek and Dan Buhrdorf are still trying to get on the ballot – Buhrdorf, after a failed effort to get his Tax Wall Street Party on the ballot in Nebraska.

The deadline to turn in petitions is September 2, according to the Nebraska Secretary of State Office.

Dozens attended the debate at the Heartland Events Center – many wearing green shirts for Domina or red shirts for Sasse.

Sasse got the majority of attacks from opponents. Most came from Domina.

This is the third debate the two have met in. Watson and Jenkins joined in the last debate in early August.

The debate, sponsored by the Nebraska Cattlemen and the Rural Radio Network, featured topics like the Affordable Care Act, immigration, tax reform, veterans' health and the Country of Origin Label.

This is the first time in at least 25 years that this many independent candidates have been on a Nebraska ballot running for U.S. Senate, according to the Secretary of State's office.

"Unlike other races this truly is going to be a race where people have many choices, and quite frankly that's what America is all about -- choices," said Jenkins.

"It's great to be a pioneering player in the race. Jim is an ex-Democrat. I'm an ex-Republican. We're both independents so we both have in common that we see problems with our former parties and we're developing a new voice," said Watson.

All candidates agreed that partisanship in Washington D.C. was not working.

NTV will have candidate answers from the debate on Saturday and Sunday.