Race for Nebraska Senate Will Be a Rough Ride

Jonathan Athens

OMAHA (KPTM) -- Former Governor and Senator Bob Kerrey has a big name and he can bring in the big money but the Senate race isn't going to be a cakewalk.

"You know, you expect the worst and hope for the best but I think it's going to be one of many in the country that are going to cause the American people to shake their heads and wonder who's really running the country," Kerrey said in a one-on-one interview with Fox 42 News.

He was referring to vast sums of money from political action committees and Super PACS that are already running television spots in Nebraska and other key battleground races in other states.

Kerrey announced Feb. 29 that he's running, three weeks after he said he was not going to run for the sake of his family. Kerrey said his family came around and decided to back his run for the seat that Ben Nelson is retiring from this year.

The stakes are high in the Nebraska race as Republicans and Democrats are gunning to take the Senate. Democrats are defending 23 states, Republicans are defending 10.

"It's going to be a national race played out here in Nebraska," said Bruce Dickes, Communications Director for the Douglas County GOP.

Dickes believes Kerrey's announcement will energize voters and will ultimately benefit the Republicans who are the majority party in the Cornhusker state.

Insiders from both parties have speculated both party's might spend up to $20 million on this race.

Kerrey said he thinks the current campaign financing system is a corrupting influence on political races. Last year, the Supreme Court open the door to allow unlimited campaign contributions to candidates and political parties.

Political expert Paul Landow said the outcome is "a toss-up with outcome being anybody's guess."

The filing deadline is March 1. The primary election is in May.