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Karnes vs. Kerrey in Nebraska; Moore Goes From One Millionaire To Another

May 11, 1988

Undated (AP) _ Republican primary voters gave West Virginia Gov. Arch Moore a shot at a record fourth term and Nebraska Sen. David Karnes a hard-fought victory in the first election of his brief political career.

But Karnes, who survived an aggressive challenge by Rep. Hal Daub, may have a tougher time defeating the Democratic primary winner, former Gov. Bob Kerrey.

Other results from Tuesday’s primaries in the two states showed Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd easily winning West Virginia’s Democratic nomination for a sixth term. He will face state Sen. Jay Wolfe, who won the Republican primary. In the Democratic primary for governor, insurance executive Gaston Caperton won a seven-way race for the chance to face Moore, who edged millionaire businessman John Raese.

Nebraska voters approved a measure raising salaries of lawmakers in the nation’s only one-chamber Legislature from $4,800 to $12,000. It’s their first raise in 20 years.

And in Nebraska’s 2nd District, where Daub gave up his seat, Democrats denied a congressional nomination to Cece Zorinsky, widow of U.S. Sen. Edward Zorinsky. Instead, former state Sen. Pete Hoagland will be the Democratic nominee and will face Jerry Schenken, winner of a four-way Republican race.

″We did it 3/8″ an elated Karnes told supporters as he claimed victory late Tuesday. ″And the thing that I am so proud about is that we did it the old- fashioned way - we earned every single vote.″

Nebraska’s GOP Senate race had been rated a toss-up in pre-election polls, but Karnes - who was appointed 14 months ago and is the nation’s youngest senator at age 38 - won by a wide margin. With 99 percent of the vote counted, Karnes had 114,101 votes or 55 percent and Daub had 93,236 votes or 45 percent.

Daub was quick to congratulate Karnes on ″his very sound and impressive victory″ and promised to help him in November.

Karnes was a supporter of Gov. Kay Orr’s election and she appointed him to fill Zorinsky’s seat after he died in March 1987. Daub, 47, was one of several GOP regulars who sought the job.

For the Democrats, Kerrey had 152,363 votes or 91.6 percent and Ken Michaelis, a disbarred lawyer, had 13,889 votes or 8.4 percent.

″I know the task over the next five months is going to be difficult,″ Kerrey said, shrugging off polls that have showed him the clear favorite.

The 44-year-old Kerrey, who lost part of a leg in Vietnam and won a Medal of Honor, has been a popular figure in Nebraska and lent some glamour to the farm state when he dated movie star Debra Winger.

In West Virginia, with 95 percent of the vote in early today, Moore led with 73,503 votes, or 53 percent, to Raese’s 64,897, or 47 percent.

Raese, who accused Moore of failing to deal with the state’s fiscal crisis, also lost his previous bid for office, a 1984 Senate race against Democrat Jay Rockefeller.

Moore, 65, won his first two terms as governor in 1968 and 1972, but was barred by law from seeking a third straight term. After Rockefeller served two terms, Moore was elected again in 1984.

Caperton’s victory in the Democratic primary followed a campaign so bitter it threatened to leave his party divided.

″He bought this election fair and square,″ said Clyde See, the former House of Delegates Speaker ho finished second and was outspent $1.8 million to $500,000.

″This is a victory for change,″ said Caperton, a newcomer to politics, ″a victory for those who believe we can create jobs and prosperity in West Virginia, a victory for education.″

With 96 percent of the vote in, Caperton had 122,276 votes or 38 percent, See had 87,753 votes or 27 percent; five others divided the rest.

In the Democratic Senate race, the 70-year-old Byrd had 237,037 votes, or 80 percent, while moving company owner Bob Myers had 57,330 votes, or 20 percent.

″I am delighted by the overwhelming vote of confidence that I have received,″ said Byrd, who has pledged to step down as majority leader to become Senate Appropriations Committee chairman if re-elected in order to help steer tax dollars to West Virginia.

In the GOP primary, with 97 percent of the vote counted, Wolfe had 75,736, or 70 percent; welfare recipient Bernie Lumbert had 32,491, or 30 percent.