April 27, 2005


Stenberg poised to announce Senate bid (DON WALTON, 4/27/05, Lincoln Journal Star)

Former Attorney General Don Stenberg appeared poised Wednesday to jump into the 2006 Republican Senate race and seek a rematch with Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson.

Stenberg, who served as attorney general for 12 years, will hold a news conference today at Republican state headquarters to make "an important announcement about his future political plans." All signs pointed to his third bid for a seat in the Senate.

Stenberg, who left the attorney general's office in 2003 to enter private practice in Omaha, lost to Nelson in 2000 by 15,000 votes.

But Stenberg supporters are quick to point out that was the closest margin since Nebraska began directly electing senators by popular vote in 1916 and that the Republican voter registration advantage over Democrats has grown by 34,000 since 2000.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2005 9:12 PM

One Nelson down, one more to go.

Posted by: oswald booth czolgosz at April 27, 2005 10:15 PM

Unfortunately one could see the White House wanting Nelson to get reelected so that there is a Democrat that will (occasionally) cross the aisle to give the GOP cover on some issues. This in turn might mean lukewarm support for Stenberg from the GOP establishment.

Posted by: AWW at April 27, 2005 11:31 PM

Only for 2 years and by then it's already too late.

Posted by: Sandy P. at April 27, 2005 11:39 PM


That's not how they think--they see a Democrat who has to vote to the Right and say, natural GOP seat.

Posted by: oj at April 27, 2005 11:42 PM

You cannot overestimate just how respected Stenberg is among Nebraska conservatives for having taken partial-birth to the SCOTUS five years ago. He was rapidly closing the gap against Nelson as the race wound down in 2000 and perhaps he'll have enough to actually triumph this time around.

I met him during the 2000 campaign. My overwhelming impression was one of deep intelligence combined with levelheaded practicality. Face him off against Nelson in debates strategically placed after football games or something to ensure viewership, and you'll see this race run down to the wire.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at April 28, 2005 6:24 AM

I like Don Stenberg and voted for him in the 2000 election. I don't think he is a shoe-in against Nelson. Sure Nebraska is red as red can be; however, there is a history here of voting for Democrats (Bob Kerrey, James Exon, Ben Nelson). All of these guys were D's and were governors that went from there to the US Senate.

Stenberg is going to have to get the voters to vote against Ben Nelson. Perhaps that nuke dump fiasco will do it, but Stenberg has to attack hard.

Several Republican leaders don't like Stenberg, even though he has been a good soldier.

Posted by: pchuck at April 28, 2005 9:59 AM

What's Tom Osborne planning to do? I assume whatever job he ever wants in Nebraska, he gets.

Posted by: b at April 28, 2005 3:44 PM


He was said to be interested in running for governor, but that depended on Johanns deciding to run for Senate in '06, and then Johanns has left for Ag and Lt. Gov. Dave Heineman got the job. Osborne has already said he's not interested in the Senate (to my great dismay), so the most likely scenario is he just runs for the House again and wins.

I'd like it another way, believe me.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at April 28, 2005 5:53 PM