Contested county races made for Tuesday headlines in the Nebraska Primary Elections in Otoe County on May 15.
The Otoe County Sheriff’s race was carved down to two candidates as Jeff Lant beat out Brian Briley and Dan Lionberger to win the Republican nomination. Lant finished with 750 votes with Lionberger at 706 and Briley at 512. Lant will now face Colin Caudill in the general election in November with the winner replacing Jim Gress, the longest serving sheriff in the history of the county.
For Otoe County commissioner, district one, the winner appears to be Jim Thurman, who scored 159 votes. Cari Stovall Lee was second with 155, while Matt Watkins had 78 votes. The decision of the voters has not been finalized, however. A recount will confirm the vote with that process taking place, possibly, on Friday. The eventual winner will take on Robert Earll, the Democrat, in November.
Tuesday’s results, in all likelihood, will secure the seat of incumbent candidate Rick Freshman in the Otoe County Commission district two race.
A vote tally of 224 was better than Freshman’s foes, Shane Allgood, with 160; and Howard Bebout, 116.
Since there isn’t a Democrat in the field for the commissioner seat, a write-in would have the challenge of beating out Freshman in November.
Looking at other offices, in the order listed on the primary election results, Deb Fischer, the incumbent Republican Senator, finished with 75.48 percent of the vote to easily beat out four other Republican Candidates.
Jeff Fortenberry had 1,865 votes in a win over Republican write-ins as he attempts to retain his district one seat in the United States House of Representatives.
Pete Ricketts, the incumbent governor, won easily by scoring 81.76 percent in the Republican primary.
Bob Evnen beat Debra Perrell 993-692 in the Republican Race for Secretary of State.
Taylor Royal beat John Murante, 1,027-729 in the Republican race for State Treasurer.
Doug Peterson, Attorney General, and Charlie Janssen, Auditor, beat write-in candidates in the Republican primary.
Dan Watermeier scored 81.64 percent of the vote to beat out two other candidates in the Republican primary for Public Service Commissioner.
On the Democratic side for the United States Senate, Jane Raybould finished with 62.27 percent of the vote to beat out three challengers.
Jessica McClure beat Dennis Crawford 451-225 for the district one Democratic nomination for the United States House of Representatives.
Also in the Democratic primary, Bob Krist got 360 votes to beat out Tyler Davis and Vanessa Gayle Ward.
Spencer Danner won the Democratic nod for Secretary of State by posting 583 votes against a write-in.
Democratic winners for Attorney General, Auditor and Public Service Commissioner were Evangelos Argyrakis, 512 votes; Jane Skinner, 567 votes; and Christa Yoakum, 464 votes.
In district two of the Nebraska legislature, an area that includes a small portion of Nebraska City, Robert Clements edged Susan D. Lorence, 178-172 with James Bond getting 111 votes.
Patricia Timm scored 1,549 votes to beat Maris Bentley for district five of the Nebraska Board of Education. Rob Shafer got 1,333 votes to win a seat on the Nebraska Board of Regents.
And Doug Magill and Jan Moore won positions on the Community Memorial Hospital Board with 563 and 820 votes respectively.
General election match ups of note have Fischer facing Raybould for United States Senate, Fortenberry facing McClure for district one of the House of Representatives and Krist challenging Ricketts for Governor of Nebraska.
Looking at the voting totals for the Otoe County primary elections, 2,057 Republicans casted ballots while 721 Democrats registered their opinions at the polls. There were 3,001 total voters. Non-partisan ballots were 211 and Libertarian votes numbered 12.