Omaha, NE.—While he admits his name “may not be known by many” Tyler Davis says he’s running for governor—apparently with or without the Democratic Party’s help.
As News Channel Nebraska first reported Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb—unable to land any “viable” candidates to take on Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts next year— is ready to put her name at the top of the ticket “to protect the Democratic Party brand.”
UNO professor Davis, a politically untested former Republican— “not a member
of the wealthiest one percent”— who will clearly need other people’s money to campaign— says Kleeb has it all wrong.
“We disagree fundamentally about what we hope a Democratic challenger would bring to the office,” says Davis.
“This should not be about party brand preservation, but about
representing the people of our state – all the people of our state….I am proud to say I am not a ‘party regular.’”
But Kleeb has made it clear that a Davis-type could damage the party’s image and hurt Democrats down the ballot in a year where she sees races for the Senate, Omaha House and at least five state legislative races competitive if not winnable.
The Davis-Kleeb squabble comes as State Sen. Bob Krist, who has yet to file but is running as an independent, is the only current challenger to Ricketts.
Krist’s unconventional bid and the Democrats inability to find a top-tier name has sparked speculation that Krist and Kleeb will cut some kind of deal that would find the Democrats and Krist double-teaming Ricketts.
Kleeb has dismissed that speculation.
Davis, who has not yet filed for the governor’s race, says he expects to make an official announcement soon.