Omaha, NE—The head of the Nebraska Democratic Party is apparently playing wait and see when it comes to backing an independent bid for governor next year.
As News Channel Nebraska first noted, and the Lincoln Journal Star has now confirmed, State Sen. Bob Krist—a Republican—is considering a third party bid against fellow Republican Governor Pete Ricketts who announced his 2018 re-election bid last week.
Omaha’s Krist tells the Journal Star he’s considering forming a new party offering voters, “a centrist approach to governing.”
Democratic Party sources tell News Channel Nebraska that in order for Krist to make his case and have an unobstructed path to victory—a clean shot at Ricketts— Democrats will need to stand-down and not put up their own candidate.
In an interview with News Channel Nebraska, Democrat Chairwoman Jane Kleeb, steered clear of the possibility.
News Channel Nebraska: Would the Democratic Party consider not fielding a candidate for governor and rallying around a Krist candidacy?
Kleeb: Nebraskans are frustrated that Gov. Ricketts continues to use his wealth to buy legislative seats and push forward an extreme agenda that ignores the needs of working-class families. Because of this, it is no surprise to us that Senator Krist and I’m sure many others will put forward their names to offer voters an alternative to Gov. Ricketts.
Democrats have been on the short end of the last several races for governor, many in landslide fashion.
In 2014 Ricketts defeated Chuck Hassebrook by 18 points—57-39.
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