Published On: Wed, Nov 5th, 2014

Republicans sweep state offices

Pete Ricketts, Republican candidate of Nebraska Governor speaks to small gathering at the Hartington Public Library with State Senator Tyson Larson endorsing

LINCOLN — Nebraska’s first new governor in a decade will be Republican Pete Ricketts of Omaha, defeating Democrat Chuck Hassebrook of Lyons in an apparent Republican election-day sweep of major state executive branch offices.

By 9:45 p.m., Ricketts and his lieutenant governor running mate Mike Foley led with nearly 55 percent of the vote to 42 percent for Hassebrook, and Libertarian Mark G. Elworth Jr. receiving three percent in the contest to replace retiring Republican Gov. Dave Heineman.

Republican candidates also led Democrats in other races for state executive branch positions.

Republican Doug Peterson of Lincoln was leading Democrat Janet Stewart of Fremont for attorney general with 63 percent of the vote to Stewart’s 37 percent.

For the open state auditor position, Republican Charlie Janssen of Fremont was ahead of Democrat Amanda McGill of Lincoln, with 56 percent of the vote to 44 percent.  Janssen and McGill are both state senators prevented by term limits from running for reelection.

Two executive branch officers running for reelection were handily defeating their opponents.

Republican Secretary of State John Gale had nearly 74 percent of the vote to Libertarian Ben Backus’ 26 percent.

In the race for state treasurer, Republican incumbent Don Stenberg was winning 65 percent of the vote to Democrat Michael O’Hara’s 30 percent.

Two of Nebraska’s three Congressmen also won re-election with ease.

Third District Congressman Adrian Smith garnered 76 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat Mark Sullivan.

First District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry defeated Democratic challenger Dennis Çrawford by a 67-33 percent margin.

At press time, Second District Congressman Lee Terry was trailing challenger Brad Ashford 49 percent to 45 percent.