Nebraska gubernatorial election, 1994

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Nebraska gubernatorial election, 1994
1990 ←
November 8, 1994 → 1998

  Ben Nelson official photo.jpg
Nominee Ben Nelson Gene Spence
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate Kim Robak Kate Witek
Popular vote 423,270 148,230
Percentage 73.03% 25.58%

Governor before election

Ben Nelson

Elected Governor

Ben Nelson

The 1994 Nebraska gubernatorial election was held on November 8, 1994, and featured incumbent Governor Ben Nelson, a Democrat defeating Republican nominee and businessman Gene Spence with 73% of the vote to win a second term.

Democratic primary[edit]



Democratic primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ben Nelson (inc.) 101,422 88.10
Democratic Robert Franklin Winingar 6,993 6.07
Democratic Robb Nimic 6,373 5.54
Democratic Write-ins 327 0.28
Total votes 115,115 100.00

Republican primary[edit]



Republican Primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Gene Spence 69,529 38.07
Republican Ralph Knobel 57,719 31.60
Republican Alan Jacobsen 27,374 14.99
Republican John DeCamp 24,414 13.37
Republican Mort Sullivan 3,363 1.84
Republican Write-ins 234 0.13
Total votes 182,633 100.00

General election[edit]


Though Governor Nelson ultimately did approve of an action to prevent foster children from living with homosexuals or unmarried couples after he was re-elected, Spence hammered the Governor for not supporting restrictions on foster homes.[2] Ultimately, four weeks before the elections, many prominent Republicans accused Spence of "throwing in the towel" and essentially conceding defeat to Nelson before any ballots were cast.[3] The divided Republican primary and Gene Spence's inability to unite the Party following his plurality victory in the primary eventually led to Nelson's overwhelming re-election.[4]


Nebraska gubernatorial election, 1994[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ben Nelson 423,270 73.03% +23.12%
Republican Gene Spence 148,230 25.58% -23.65%
Write-ins 8,061 1.39%
Majority 275,040 47.46% +46.77%
Turnout 579,561
Democratic hold Swing

Note: State Senator Ernie Chambers received 2,976 votes as a write-in candidate; his votes are included in the total for write-in candidates.


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ "Nebraska Moves to Bar Homosexuals From Being Foster Parents". New York Times. 1995-01-29. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  3. ^ Jordan, Joe (2010-06-15). "History of Omaha Congressional Race Cuts Both Ways". Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  4. ^ Susan (2004-05-07). "GoBigEd". Retrieved 2011-06-19.