The Democratic Party was looking at a tough battle to hold on to the seat of Ben Nelson (D-NE) this election cycle, even if Nelson decided to defend it. He didn’t. And now, the consensus best candidate available to stand in for Nelson has also opted out of the race, giving the Republican Party an excellent shot at taking the seat.
Democrats in Nebraska had an excellent potential candidate – Bob Kerrey. He has held high office on behalf of Nebraskans, including service in the US Senate and as the state’s Governor. In addition to the excellent resume, Kerrey offered unparalleled name recognition.
However, according to The Hill, the political figure has opted not to enter the race.
Democrats say they have not given up on the state, and cite dissension on the Republican side, where a battle for the right to run the seat is said to be engaged along the rift line between the party establishment and Tea Party elements.
According to The Hill, any Democratic candidate in this very red state will face significant name recognition and fund-raising hurdles in the effort to mount a competitive campaign.
RBR-TVBR observation: In some ways, many on the Democratic side will not miss Nelson – he often voted with Republicans. However, the Democrats will definitely miss his presence on their side of the aisle when the headcount is taken that determines which party names a majority leader and committee chairs, and which is forced to settle for minority leader and ranking members.