GOP pushes for more statehouse control as Democrats push back

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

The GOP’s hold on the Nebraska State Legislature will continue after Election Day, but it’s anybody’s guess just how firm that hold will be.

When lawmakers left Lincoln in April the GOP held 60 percent of the Unicam’s 49 seats. The party breakdown was:

Republican 30

Democrat 18

Independent 1

25 seats are at stake next Tuesday, 16 held by Republicans and nine by Democrats and as Nebraska Watchdog has reported both sides are spending plenty.

These two Bellevue candidates are in a partisan race considered too close to call.

According to a new analysis by Nebraska Watchdog, the GOP risks losing four seats but is assured of taking two districts currently held by Democratic Senators Wallman and Dubas who are term limited—only Republicans are running for their slots.

Of those seven remaining Democratic seats, six are in play.

All of which leaves the GOP with the biggest possible upside, a gain of 8 seats.

GOP’s Best Case Scenario:

Republican 38

Democratic 10

Independent 1

Democrats are looking , at most, at three added seats.

Democrat’s Best Case Scenario:

Republican 28

Democrat 19

Independent 2

The GOP has been signaling some of its concerns asking volunteers to step up in three metro-Omaha races.

“We need help,” writes the party’s Executive Director Bud Synhorst in a weekend email targeting one open seat, one GOP slot and one Democratic seat.

The open seat is in Omaha’s District 6 where Democrat John Stalnaker is running against Republican Joni Craighead.

In District 8, Democrat incumbent Burke Harr is outspending his GOP rival, Gwenn Aspen, nearly 2-1.

In Bellevue’s 3rd District incumbent Republican Tommy Garrett is battling City Councilwoman Carol Blood.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org.

Joe can be heard on Omaha’s KFAB radio every Monday morning at 7:40, KLIN in Lincoln every Tuesday morning at 7:35 and KHAS-AM in Hastings every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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