2012’s Other Elections

03.02.12

2012’s Other Elections: Kerrey Welcomed With Negative Ad in Nebraska

Senate candidates are kick-starting their negative ad campaigns, state senator and local veterinarian Joe Seng wants to replace Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack, and more.

Nebraska Candidate Gets Negative
Bob Kerrey hadn’t been in the Nebraska Senate race more than two days before he was the subject of his first attack ad from opponent Jon Bruning. Bruning had been considered the Republican with the best chance of replacing Democrat Ben Nelson before Kerrey, also a Democrat, announced he was running this week. In the ad, Kerrey is portrayed as a “New York liberal.” The narrator notes, “Kerrey says ‘Obamacare’ didn’t go far enough. Bruning is leading the fight to overturn it. Kerrey voted for billions in earmarks. Bruning says eliminate earmarks and cut spending.” Kerrey, a former governor and Nebraska senator, has lived in New York City since leaving Congress. His campaign manager responded to the ad Friday arguing, “People leave their home states for a job…when people come back we think it’s a good thing.”

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Iowa State Senator, Veterinarian Plans Loebsack Challenge
Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack may face a primary challenge to his fourth term from state Sen. Joe Seng. A moderate Democrat who opposes both health-care reforms requiring contraception coverage and abortion, Seng said, “I have the utmost respect for Dave Loebsack. He’s done a good job but I have a lot of differences with the federal government with the gridlock in Congress caused by the extreme left and extreme right.” In addition to his political career, Seng is a veterinarian nationally recognized by the American Humane Society and has been known to bring a mobile spaying unit to Des Moines during the legislative session to spay and neuter local pets pro bono. Mark Langgin, a political campaign consultant in Des Moines who’s heard of this neuter-mobile, says he wouldn’t be surprised if Seng brought it out during his campaign.

Occupy Philly Candidate Blocked From Ballot
Occupy Philadelphia protester Nathan Kleinman’s goal to challenge Allyson Schwartz for her seat in the House of Representatives has hit a stumbling block, but isn’t over. Schwartz, the Democratic incumbent, picked a legal fight with Kleinman over whether he’d collected enough signatures to make the Pennsylvania district’s ballot. Kleinman won’t bother fighting Schwartz in court, but he’s not giving up. He’ll run as a write-in candidate.

Arkansas Dems Face Congressional Shutout
Last-minute reversals made for upheaval within the Arkansas Democratic Party on Friday, as the preferred candidate to challenge freshman Republican Rep. Tim Griffin decided not to run just before the deadline. Not only that, the party failed to register any of its ideal candidates to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Mike Ross. The absence of strong candidates in Arkansas will ultimately have an impact on the Democrats’ chances of gaining 26 seats to take back the House in November.