GOP officials in Nebraska’s two largest counties excluding some candidates in voter information

April 17, 2018 - 4:00pm

The Douglas County Republican Party web site includes a downloadable list of its party candidates. It resembles a sample ballot, with a note at the bottom encouraging voters to “take this list of Republican candidates with you” to the polls.

Downloadable voter information from the Douglas County Republican Party web site.


"2018 Candidates" page from the Lancaster County Republican Party web site.


Senate candidate web sites



Libertarian (not contested in primary)


Governor candidate web sites



NET News will profile all the U.S. Senate candidates in contested primary races in the coming weeks, beginning Thursday with profiles of Jack Heidel and Chris Janicek.

Campaign Connection 2018 is the home for all NET News coverage of the 2018 elections. 

But some candidates are missing. Like the one other Republican running against incumbent Pete Ricketts for governor, and the names of four Republicans running against incumbent Deb Fischer for U.S. Senate.

The same exclusion exists on the Lancaster County Republican Party web site, where a page of 2018 candidate information makes no mention of the non-incumbents running for governor and Senate.

In addition to Ricketts, Krystal Gabel of Omaha is a Republican candidate for governor. Joining Fischer as GOP candidates for U.S. Senate are Jack Heidel and Jeffrey Stein of Omaha, and Dennis Macek and Todd Watson of Lincoln. It 's the first time since 1988 (when Hal Daub ran against appointee David Karnes) that an incumbent U.S. Senate candidate has faced competition in the Nebraska primary, and the first time since 1972 (when Carl Curtis faced four challengers) that a Senate candidate running for re-election has faced primary competition.

“Since when have we been afraid of competition? And why can't we display better ideas in the debate?” Watson said. “Nebraskans are onto it, they know that this thing is controlled from the top.”

“It’s an endorsement," said J.P Sabby, Lancaster County Republican Party chair. "We’re endorsing Gov. Pete Ricketts, with all the good work he’s done. And he’s an incumbent. And we’ll be making an official endorsement in our main meeting. Same will go with U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer.”

Douglas County Republican Party chair Jon Tucker provides a similar explanation. "Some of the slate could be viewed as perhaps an endorsement," Tucker said.  "And the state party in January voted on a resolution for both Gov. Ricketts and Deb Fischer supporting their candidacy. I look at this going, 'Well if I put the other candidates that are challenging Gov. Ricketts and Sen. Fischer on the slate, then I'm violating the wishes of the NEGOP committee.'"

The Nebraska Republican Party web site does include information for all of its candidates for governor and senator.



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