Omaha, NE.—With the clock ticking State Sen. Bob Krist has until Feb. 15 to join the Democratic Party and make the May primary ballot for governor.
If he doesn’t it won’t be due to a possible legal snafu, according to a 20-year-old state memo obtained by News Channel Nebraska.
Just last week Krist, who has been planning a 3rd party bid for the state’s top job, told NCN the Democrats are once again pushing him to run with them as he pursues “the best path forward.”
While one Democratic candidate for governor struggles to make ends meet (see NCN exclusive investigation here) Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb has vowed to put a seasoned political figure at the top of the ticket.
Some political insiders have suggested/warned that it’s too late for Krist to change parties noting that, according to the Secretary of State’s 2018 election calendar, the last day to change political parties for the May 15 primary was Dec. 1 of last year.
But a 1998 SOS memo and present-day email say otherwise.
In a letter (highlighted below) to the Keith County Clerk dated Feb. 3, 1998 then-Secretary of State Scott Moore said, “It is my position that someone who amends their registration from non-partisan to affiliate with a political party has not affected ‘A change in political party affiliation…’ but has instead chosen to declare an affiliation.”
In other words because there is no “non-partisan” party, someone like Krist wouldn’t be changing parties, just joining one.
In addition Deputy Secretary of State Wayne Bena recently wrote that, “While (the memo) is from 1998, it is still the policy of this office.”
If Krist does join the Democrats it will be his third political brand in the last five months: In September he turned in his GOP badge for that independent stamp.
Joe can be heard: