Don Walton: Flood’s entry into home race gives two headlining contests in May primary | national news

Ok, game on!

Mike Flood’s entry into the Republican 1st District congressional race now gives the May 10 primary election two headlining contests.

The rush of Republican governors and the big-name contest between State Senator Flood and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry are the major headlines this year.

Non-incumbents still have until March 1 to apply so there can be more drama to come. Office holders must submit their re-election documents before February 15. The distribution of characters is not quite settled yet.

Early signs of the big GOP gubernatorial scramble, along with conventional wisdom, suggest that Charles Herbster would likely be in the lead at this point due to his first TV ad blitz and Donald Trump’s endorsement.

But Jim Pillen has the advantage of campaigning early across the state, and he’s already secured the funding needed to get his name out there and get his message across.

Almost everyone will probably agree that these are the two candidates leading the pack now.

Both have agricultural backgrounds, and it will be especially interesting to see where the Nebraska Farm Bureau ultimately grants its prized approval.

Voters in urban and rural areas of western and central Nebraska depend on agriculture, are overwhelmingly registered as Republicans, and consistently vote in higher percentages than voters in the Lincoln-Omaha-Sarpy County metropolitan complex .

And the Nebraska Farm Bureau has more than 58,000 member families.

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Aren’t there senators on both sides of the aisle in Washington who could agree on a compromise voting rights package that makes it possible and reasonably practical for all who are eligible to have the Opportunity to Participate in American Democracy?

With their votes.

Why is it so difficult?

Is it because political parties and partisan advantages matter more than the right to vote of every American citizen?

George Washington knew this would happen.

“However (political parties) may from time to time serve popular ends, they are liable, as time goes by and from things, to become mighty engines by which cunning, ambitious and unscrupulous men will be able to subvert power of the people and to usurp the reins of government for themselves,” he warned.

It happened, but not quite in the brutal way described by Washington.

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Looks like the old Nebraska-Colorado football rivalry, which turned disrespectful and then ugly, could reemerge in a battle over the precious water that flows along the South Platte River in Colorado and across the border into Nebraska. .

When a conservative Republican governor is ready to shell out $500 million without a blink of an eye, you know it’s on.

And that probably doesn’t help much when the other governor is a Democrat.

Huskers versus Buffaloes once again.

And another reminder that those old rivalries with neighbors were so much more engaging than today’s competition with mostly distant Big Ten outsiders, only one of whom borders our state.

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To finish:

* There are some exciting things about Governor Ricketts’ mid-biennium budget adjustments. This proposed lake between Lincoln and Omaha may top the list in terms of stretching the envelope and thinking big.

* But the proposed new agricultural research program at UNL’s Innovation Campus, which would focus on climate change and aim to help agriculture successfully navigate this growing challenge, does not appear to have succeeded.

* OpenSky Policy Institute executive director Rebecca Firestone said the tax cuts being discussed by the governor are “heavily biased toward the wealthy” and would leave the state vulnerable to cuts to schools and health care healthcare when pandemic-related federal dollars stop flowing into the state.

* Some of us still think it’s not fair for the governor to target his tax relief on “Nebraska’s hard workers.” We all need to share.

* Senator Tony Vargas of Omaha has raised $700,000 in 2021 for his 2nd Democratic House run in the district. This House contest in the competitive Metropolitan District of Omaha represented by Republican Rep. Don Bacon will be November’s headliner.

* Three members of the Omaha City Council have described a mask mandate as “a substantial and invasive burden on the citizens of Omaha”.

* Along with a list of endorsements issued ahead of Sen. Mike Flood’s entry into the 1st District Republican primary race, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry promised “to engage voters and communicate my strong record of accomplishment for Nebraska and the America”.

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