Election

Nebraska Governor's Race a Dead Heat

May 13, 2014

It's been a long and winding road through this year's Republican primary battle for governor in Nebraska, with detours and hairpin curves aplenty.

Candidates have rolled and crashed in the blink of a 30-­second television ad. Four candidates, or potential candidates, have come and gone.

Then there was money. For the first time in Nebraska, out-of-state special interest groups are trying to influence a state race. In all, they've poured about $2 million into the governor's race, most of it on brutal, negative ads.

And there were surprises, including Attorney General Jon Bruning's eleventh-hour decision — on a February day — to jump into the race after other candidates had spent the better part of 2013 on the campaign trail.

And by all accounts, the race remains incredibly tight. A poll by Magellan Strategies on Thursday showed Bruning and Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts in a dead heat, with Ricketts at 25 percent and Bruning at 24 percent.

“It's going to be a barn burner,” Bruning said.

The six GOP candidates spent the weekend making a final push. The weekend also saw a flurry of last-minute television and radio ads.

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