NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run
by Todd Beeton, Wed Oct 24, 2007 at 10:08:07 AM EDT
After teasing a run for Chuck Hagel's senate seat, former Nebraska governor and senator Bob Kerrey, clearly Democrats' best chance at taking the seat, has announced he won't run after all and instead will remain president of the New School in New York.
From his statement:
I have decided I will not leave The New School to become a candidate for the United States Senate in Nebraska. The reason is simple enough: For my family and me now is not the time for me to re-enter politics as a candidate.
He acknowledges he almost did decide to run for senate:
At the same time I nearly said yes to leaving [The New School]. Again the reason is simple enough: I am deeply troubled about the direction of our country. And the idea of returning home to Nebraska to lead a political campaign based on a promise to do my part to change the direction was very appealing. I love Nebraska and believe in public service. I have not given up on politics or democracy simply because both have been debased in recent years by money, corruption, and personal weakness.
So now, with Kerrey out, this seat unfortunately becomes strongly Lean Republican and is definitely a blow to any hopes of winning 60 seats next year.
The Democratic bench in Nebraska is very thin. Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey was courted by the Dems, but has shown a reluctance to get in the race. The next possible candidate would be rancher Scott Kleeb, who ran unsuccessfully last year in the Third Congressional District.
Will Kleeb run again for the House or perhaps put his hat in the ring for senate? After meeting him at YearlyKos, it was evident why he's a rising star in Nebraska and I believe he'd actually be a formidable senate candidate. We look forward to hearing what his plans are.
In the meantime, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and now, for the senate seat itself, is Mike Johanns, former Bush Agriculture Secretary. The DSCC is already on it.