Nebraska gubernatorial election, 2014

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Nebraska gubernatorial election, 2014
Nebraska
2010 ←
November 4, 2014 (2014-11-04) → 2018

  Ricketts, Pete 2013-11-04a.JPG Chuck Hassebrook.jpg
Nominee Pete Ricketts Chuck Hassebrook
Party Republican Democratic
Running mate Mike Foley Jane Raybould
Popular vote 308,751 211,905
Percentage 57.21% 39.27%

Nebraska Governor Election Results by County, 2014.svg

County results

Governor before election

Dave Heineman
Republican

Elected Governor

Pete Ricketts
Republican

The 2014 Nebraska gubernatorial election took place on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 to elect the Governor of Nebraska. Republican Candidate and Former COO of TD Ameritrade Pete Ricketts defeated Democratic candidate and former Regent of the University of Nebraska Chuck Hassebrook, receiving 57.6% of the vote to Hassebrook's 38.9%.[1]

Republican primary[edit]

Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy first declared his intention to run for Governor in July 2011.[2] Considered to be the "hand-picked" successor to incumbent Governor Dave Heineman, he was endorsed by him.[3] Sheehy was joined in the Republican primary by Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature Mike Flood in November 2012.[4] Flood withdrew from the race less than a month later after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.[5]

Sheehy resigned as Lieutenant Governor and withdrew from the race in February 2013 after the Omaha World-Herald discovered that he had made 2,300 phone calls on a state-issued phone, many of them long and at night, to four women, none of whom were his wife.[6] At the end of the month, Flood was reported to be reconsidering his decision with his wife progressing well in her treatment. In July he announced that he would not re-enter the race.[7]

Cattle rancher Charles Herbster, who had not formally entered the race but had been campaigning since July, became the third Republican to withdraw when he withdrew on August 23. He cited the health of his wife, who had recently undergone heart surgery.[8]

In September 2013, Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts joined the race. Ricketts, a former chief operating officer of Ameritrade and the son of company founder Joe Ricketts, had run unsuccessfully in 2006 for the U.S. Senate seat held by Ben Nelson.[9]

State Senator Charlie Janssen, who had lagged in endorsements and fundraising, withdrew from the race on February 3, 2014. He said: "The way the field was shaping up, I didn't see a clear path to victory."[10] He later declared his candidacy for State Auditor.

In February 2014, state attorney general Jon Bruning announced that he was joining the race. His entry made him the perceived front-runner, supplanting Ricketts, who had been regarded as the leading contender up to that time.[11]

In the May 13 Republican primary, Ricketts narrowly defeated Bruning, with 26.5% of the vote to Bruning's 25.5%. His 1-point margin of victory made this the closest Republican gubernatorial primary in 92 years, since the 1922 primary in which Charles Randall defeated Adam McMullen by 0.6 points.[12]

Candidates[edit]

Four serious-looking men in dark jackets
Buffalo County Republican Party candidate event in November 2013. From left to right: Charlie Janssen, Pete Ricketts, Mike Foley, and Tom Carlson. Beau McCoy was not present at the event; Jon Bruning had not yet declared his candidacy.

Declared[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Jon
Bruning
Tom
Carlson
Mike
Foley
Charlie
Janssen
Beau
McCoy
Pete
Ricketts
Bryan
Slone
Other Undecided
Magellan Strategies May 8, 2014 525 ±4.28% 24% 5% 18% 16% 25% 5% 1% 6%
Harper Polling February 3–4, 2014 565 ±4% 34.7% 5.3% 14.2% 5.6% 4.7% 16.2% 0.9% 18.4%

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pete Ricketts 57,936 26.48
Republican Jon Bruning 55,761 25.49
Republican Beau McCoy 45,820 20.94
Republican Mike Foley 42,039 19.22
Republican Tom Carlson 9,036 4.13
Republican Bryan Slone 8,179 3.74
Total votes 218,771 100

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Libertarian primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

  • Mark G. Elworth, Jr.[67]

Results[edit]

Libertarian primary results[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Libertarian Mark G. Elworth, Jr. 396 100
Total votes 396 100

Debates[edit]

October 2 debate[edit]

Chuck Hassebrook and Pete Ricketts traded barbs over past positions in a debate sponsored by Nebraska Educational Communications. Hassebrook accused Ricketts of supporting Gov. Dave Heineman's (R) tax proposal in 2013, which would have increased sales tax rates. The Platte Institute, a conservative think-tank created by Ricketts, supported the tax proposal, which ultimately failed to pass in the face of increasing public criticism. Hassebrook argued that Ricketts tried to hide his support for the measure when he decided to run for governor. Ricketts denied support for the bill, noting that he did not agree with every position taken by the institute.[68]

Ricketts countered by bringing up a report co-authored by Hassebrook in 1990 that called for a ban on exports of genetically modified crops. The issue of biotechnology in farming has grown in prominence due to the importance of Nebraska's agricultural sector. Hassebrook responded that he provided little assistance to the authors of the report, and was wrongly credited as a co-author. He also noted that he supported biotechnology research since the early 1990s, when he served on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.[68]

Debate viewers also saw Hassebrook and Ricketts stake out distinct positions on immigration and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would run through Nebraska. Hassebrook advocated for allowing driving licenses for children brought to the country illegally, while Ricketts opposed issuing licenses as a matter of protecting existing laws. Ricketts suggested that the XL Pipeline would bring jobs to the state and securely transport oil across the country, citing problems with rail transportation of oil. Hassebrook opposed the pipeline because he suggested the project would contribute to climate change.[68]

September 1 debate[edit]

Chuck Hassebrook and Pete Ricketts sparred over education policy, economics and full-time residency in Lincoln at the Nebraska State Fair. Hassebrook opposed school vouchers for public school students, suggesting that tax dollars should be used to improve public schools. Ricketts countered that a gradual voucher policy would help students while keeping money in public schools. The duo showed stark differences in economic policy, with Hassebrook supporting a minimum wage increase and Ricketts opposing an increased wage. Moderator Mike'l Severe asked both candidates if they would reside in the governor's mansion full-time if elected. Ricketts, who has three children attending school in Omaha, said that he had not made a final decision on the question. Hassebrook stated that Nebraska needs a "full-time governor" and that he would live in Lincoln because "40 hours a week is a vacation."[69]

Results[edit]

Democratic primary results[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Chuck Hassebrook 64,509 100
Total votes 64,509 100

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

In Nebraska, gubernatorial nominees select their running mates after the primary elections.

  • Running mate: Mike Foley, Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts. Ricketts had initially selected incumbent Lieutenant Governor Lavon Heidemann as his running mate, but Heidemann resigned from office and withdrew from the election on September 9, 2014, after allegations of domestic abuse. Ricketts named Foley as his new running mate within hours and, after some initial confusion as to whether Heidemann's name would still appear on the ballot,[70][71] Secretary of State John A. Gale confirmed that the switch had been made to ensure "the accurate reflection of candidates on the ballot."[72]
  • Mark G. Elworth, Jr. (Libertarian)
  • Running mate: Scott Zimmerman[74]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Pete
Ricketts (R)
Chuck
Hassebrook (D)
Other Undecided
CBS News/NYT/YouGov October 16–23, 2014 681 ± 5% 55% 35% 0% 11%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov September 20–October 1, 2014 721 ± 4% 55% 35% 1% 9%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov August 18–September 2, 2014 987 ± 4% 54% 34% 1% 11%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov July 5–24, 2014 855 ± 4.4% 49% 41% 0% 9%
Public Policy Polling1 June 11–12, 2014 902 ± 3.3% 42% 38% 8%2 13%
Rasmussen Reports May 14–15, 2014 750 ± 4% 47% 40% 5% 8%
1. ^ Poll conducted on behalf of Chuck Hassebrook's campaign.
2. ^ Mark Elworth (Libertarian)

Results[edit]

Nebraska's gubernatorial election, 2014[75]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Pete Ricketts 308,751 57.21 -16.69
Democratic Chuck Hassebrook 211,905 39.27 +13.17
Libertarian Mark Elworth 19,001 3.52 n/a
Majority 96,846
Turnout 539,657
Republican hold Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nebraska Governor's race results". Politico. November 7, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Sheehy says he will run for Nebraska governor in 2014". Journal Star. July 15, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Mike Flood still considering run for Nebraska governor". Omaha.com. August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Mike Flood launches bid for governor's office in 2014". Omaha.com. November 12, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Mike Flood drops bid for governor; wife ill". Omaha.com. December 6, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Sheehy steps aside after phone records reveal 2,300 calls to 4 women". Omaha.com. February 4, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Walton, Don (July 7, 2013). "Don Walton: Flood won't re-enter governor's race". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ Robynn Tysver (August 24, 2013). "Surprises in governor's race: Herbster out; McCoy in". Omaha.com. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ Walton, Don. "Ricketts looks forward to changing skeptics' minds". Lincoln Journal Star. 2013-09-08. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
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  11. ^ a b Tsyver, Robynn. "Attorney General Jon Bruning to run for Nebraska governor". Omaha World-Herald. 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
  12. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (May 14, 2014). "Ricketts Wins Nebraska GOP Gubernatorial Nod with Lowest Support in State History". 
  13. ^ Walton, Don (July 12, 2013). "Sen. Tom Carlson enters governor race". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  14. ^ Walton, Don (September 5, 2013). "Foley pledges fiscally conservative governorship". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Walton, Don (August 23, 2013). "Sen. Beau McCoy enters GOP governor race". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
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  29. ^ "Former State Senator Carroll Burling Endorses Tom Carlson for Governor of Nebraska". Tom Carlson for Governor. November 13, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
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  32. ^ "Senator Tom Hansen Endorses Tom Carlson". Tom Carlson for Governor. September 27, 2013. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
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  41. ^ "Thank you, NAIFA, for the Endorsement". Tom Carlson for Governor. October 29, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
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  67. ^ "Statewide election filings". Omaha World-Herald. 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  68. ^ a b c Omaha.com, " In their last debate before election, Nebraska governor candidates try to build contrasts," October 2, 2014
  69. ^ Omaha.com, "Hassebrook-Ricketts debate: Nebraska's governor candidates display stark choice voters will face," September 2, 2014
  70. ^ Schulte, Grant (September 9, 2014). "Nebraska Lt. Governor Lavon Heidemann Resigns Following Domestic Abuse Allegations". Associated Press. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  71. ^ Robynn Tysver (September 9, 2014). "Pete Ricketts moves quickly to pick Mike Foley as running mate, but is it fast enough to get name on ballot?". Omaha.com. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  72. ^ Grant Schulte (September 10, 2014). "Ricketts Can Have Heidemann Removed From Ballot". ABC News. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  73. ^ Walton, Don (June 30, 2014). "Hassebrook chooses Jane Raybould". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
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  75. ^ "Nebraska Secretary of State Election Results 2014". Nebraska Secretary of State. November 4, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]