Nebraska candidates make final pitches before Tuesday primary; higher voter turnout expected

Statewide turnout is expected to be 35% — high for a primary
Posted at 7:48 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 20:48:16-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Candidates got their final message out on Monday in preparation for an election with a relatively high expected voter turnout.

The last time the expected voter turnout in Nebraska was this high Governor Dave Heineman pulled off an upset many didn’t see coming. He beat former Husker Football Head Coach and Congressman Tom Osborne.

That was 16 years ago.

Secretary of State Bob Evnen projected a 35% statewide turnout for Tuesday, which is the highest since Heineman beat Osborne.

Sarpy County is projecting voter turnout at 30% and Douglas County is projecting 35%, like the statewide average.

Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse pointed to 85,000 mail-in ballots already sent, and another 30,000 mail-in ballots that have yet to be sent in, as some of the reasoning for the high prediction.

“We look at early voting numbers. We look at interest in races, which we obviously have a hotly contested governor’s race on the Republican side. And we kind of get a feel for what campaigns, political parties and candidates are kind of telling us as well,” said Kruse.

Two of the candidates for governors were spending Monday getting their final message out.

NU Regent Jim Pillen started his flyover tour in Omaha, along with political heavy hitters Governor Pete Ricketts, former Gov. Kay Orr and Osborne.

Ricketts spent much of his time criticizing candidate Charles Herbster when asked about how he could bring the GOP together if he won a very hotly contested primary election. Pillen pointed to his Husker football career.

“I was a defensive back. My memory was really short and so you just move forward and not focus on yesterday, you focus on the next play,” said Pillen.

Businessman Charles Herbster wasn’t out in the metro today but posted a picture of his visit to Seward. His campaign also announced the endorsement of Creighton Economics Professor Ernie Goss, who thinks Herbster can bring down property taxes.

As for State Senator Brett Lindstrom, he was in central Nebraska Monday morning before coming back to Omaha. He’s held a party for grassroots supporters and tells 3 News Now he’s done everything he can to sway Republicans and is feeling calm.

“I think if you are undecided, and looking at the experience, and where we’re going as a state, and the next generation of leadership, and the positivity that we campaigned on and actually on Nebraska issues. I feel really good about where we’re at,” said Lindstrom.

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