Nebraska Democrats pick Raybould to face GOP Sen. Fischer

May 16, 2018

FILE - In this April 8, 2014, file photo, Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., talks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Nebraska voters on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, will pick U.S. Senate nominees for both parties out of crowded fields of candidates who hope to claim the seat held by incumbent Fischer. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Sen. Deb Fischer notched an easy Republican primary victory on Tuesday over four other GOP candidates, some of whom argued she wasn’t conservative enough for deep-red Nebraska.

Fischer will face Democrat Jane Raybould, a Lincoln city councilwoman who defeated three primary opponents. Fischer enters the general election as a heavy favorite to win a second term.

Fischer has focused on her first-term accomplishments, including her work to pass highway funding legislation. She also stressed her Senate experience, such as her position on an Armed Services subcommittee.

Fischer said she would continue focusing on economic development if elected and thanked voters for their support.

“I was hoping that they would recognize the good work that we’re doing together,” she said.

Fischer received endorsements from a majority of the state’s elected Republican officials as well as major farm and business groups. Before being elected to the Senate, she was a rancher and state legislator.

Raybould was the best-known candidate in the Democratic field, partly because of her unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 2014 with running mate Chuck Hassebrook. Raybould has served on the City Council since 2015 and helps run her family’s grocery store chain.

In her victory speech, Raybould pledged to “work with Republicans and like-minded Democrats to fight together to change this system and get things done.

“Over the next six months, we’re going to show Nebraskans that they have a choice — someone who will fight for our state, not corporations and special interest campaign contributors, or a party-loyalist who votes with her political bosses 98 percent of the time,” Raybould said.

Fischer was elected to the Senate in 2012 after defeating two higher-profile Republicans in the primary. She went on to defeat Democrat Bob Kerrey, a former governor who was running for his old Senate seat.


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