Could an Omaha attorney and Nebraska Republican National Committeeman enter the Governor’s race? David Kramer would be an interesting candidate for several reasons. First, Kramer was recently elected as the National Committeeman for the state of Nebraska, succeeding Pete Ricketts, and seemed to have a thirst once again for local politics after a prolonged hiatus from the party and politics. Many think that Kramer has higher political aspirations and his last foray into politics at last year’s state convention was the first step. Now that the field has opened up with the recent departure of Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy, this could be a heavily contested Republican primary.
Second, Kramer’s wife was the fundraiser for Mike Flood in his bid for the Governor’s seat. Perhaps the Flood donor base could be convinced that Kramer is the candidate to back. We do not think that Kramer would generate support of prominent members of the business community merely because of his wife’s involvement in Flood’s campaign, but it would certainly make for a warm call. Third, Kramer has some statewide appeal after garnering over 43,000 votes in the contested Republican Senatorial primary in 2006 where he was endorsed by Nebraska’s largest newspaper, the Omaha World Herald. Finally, Kramer still has many state-wide relationships within the party from when he served as the Nebraska State Republican Party Chairman.
Kramer has been publicly vocal and critical about the Nebraska Republican Party’s lack of outreach, particularly with the Hispanic/Latino members of the community. Kramer is fluent in Spanish and is more moderate on the issues of immigration, which is a stark contrast to the soon-to-be-announced gubernatorial candidate and Nebraska State Senator Charlie Janssen. Janssen has remained steadfast in his insistence in following the current immigration laws in place and holding employers responsible for breaking those rules.
One question to ponder is whether Kramer would be able to step away from his law practice enough to mount a credible state-wide campaign. Unlike Kramer, Janssen is for all intents and purposes retired and has already been touring the state sharing his vision for Nebraska. Political Insiders Report believes that when State Senator Janssen announces his run, he will have a full team in place with the strong infrastructure necessary to mount a winning campaign. At this point, our odds makers believe that Janssen is in the driver’s seat.
Attorney General Don Stenberg is a possibility, but most political circles think that voters are fatigued with Stenberg. There have also been a few whispers of excitement about very popular Washington County Republican Chairman John Orr. John is the son of former Governor Kay Orr. We put John entering the race a very low likelihood as these are at this time whispers and excitement of John bringing his conservative bona fides to the race rather than John showing any interest at the possibility.
On the Democratic side, we still believe Chuck Hassebrook or State Senator Steve Lathrop will enter the race.