OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — State Sen. Julie Slama has easily defeated challenger Janet Palmtag in an unusually bitter race that pitted two Republicans against one another in the officially nonpartisan Legislature.
The race exposed a divide in the state GOP. Slama, of Peru, was backed by Gov. Pete Ricketts, who appointed her to the seat last year.
Palmtag was endorsed by former Gov. Dave Heineman. Slama’s campaign came under criticism for attack ads accusing Palmtag of being soft on crime that pictured Palmtag with state Sen. Ernie Chambers, one of only two Black lawmakers for the state.
Critics included former governors Heineman and Democrat Bob Kerrey, who accused Slama of “race-baiting tactics.”