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Election Time: Bruning concedes to Ricketts; Blaha retains county seat
May 14, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Photos by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - District 48 Senate candidate John Stinner of Gering casts his vote Tuesday morning.

The race that generated the most air time and campaign spending in this primary season was Nebraska’s U.S. Senate seat, left open when incumbent Mike Johanns decided not to run.

Although former Nebraska State Treasurer Shane Osborn was the first to declare, opponent Ben Sasse, president of Midland University in Fremont, won the Republican nomination handily with 57 percent of the vote in Scotts Bluff County. His nearest competition came from Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale, who gathered 26 percent of the vote. Osborn came in third with 13 percent of the vote in the county.

Sasse will face Democrat David Domina, who defeated Larry Marvin by 12 percent of the Scotts Bluff County vote.

For U.S. Congress in Nebraska’s Third District, incumbent Republican Adrian Smith turned back challenger Tom Brewer by 67 to 33 percent of the vote. This November, Smith faces a familiar challenger, Democrat Mark Sullivan, who ran against Smith two years ago.

The Republican field for Nebraska Governor was crowded with candidates, with Attorney General Jon Bruning holding a slight lead over Pete Ricketts in Scotts Bluff County in voting on Tuesday. But statewide, Ricketts was slightly ahead. Later that night, Bruning conceded the election to Ricketts despite trailing by less than 1,500 votes.

Ricketts will be a heavy favorite for governor this November as he faces Democrat challenger Chuck Hassebrook, who was unopposed in the primary.

Doug Patterson won in Scotts Bluff County on the Republican ticket for Nebraska Attorney General, as did incumbent State Treasurer Don Stenberg and Secretary of State John Gale.

In the race for Nebraska State Senator in District 48, Republican John Stinner took 75 of the vote to Democrat challenger Mike Meister’s 24 percent. The two will also be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

Locally, incumbent Sherry Blaha, Scotts Bluff County Commissioner in District 3, defeated challenger Cheryl Braunbeck by 57 to 42 percent of the vote.

“Cheryl ran a good campaign, and I’m appreciative of that,” Blaha said after the results came in. “I plan to continue to do my homework and be open and available to anyone who has comments or concerns.”

In the four person race for County Commissioner in District 1, Chuck Cowan started off with an early lead. But when the final results were counted, he was five votes behind Mark Reichert, 273 to 268. It’s still to be determined whether the results will trigger an automatic recount.

For Scotts Bluff County Treasurer, Heather Hauschild defeated challenger Jennifer Eskam by 68 to 31 percent of the vote.

“I’m really shocked right now,” Hauschild said after the votes were tallied. “I met a lot of really good people during the campaign and I’m glad the hard work paid off.”

Hauschild, who works in the treasurer’s office, said she’s looks forward to getting some hand-on experience and training from current treasurer Gwenn Greeley, who retires in January.

In the race for Minatare City Council, Trevor Schwartz received 38 votes and came away as the winner in a three person race.

Photos by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - Gov. Dave Heineman endorses John Bruning for the race during a stop in Scottsbluff on Monday.
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