Today is primary election day in Nebraska. The polls are open until 7 pm MT, but in Dawes County there are no polling places with all voting done by mail-in ballot.
If you haven’t mailed yours in, you can drop it off in person until 7:00 tonight either at the County Clerk’s Office in the courthouse or the ballot drop-box near the east entrance to the courthouse.
There aren’t many contested local primaries in this area. Sioux County has none and Dawes County only 3.
Just one is at the county level: Dawes County Commissioner District 2, where 2-term incumbent Vic Rivera is challenged by Travis Nitsch in the Republican primary.
There are 3 seats on the Chadron City Council up for grabs with 8 candidates and 6 advancing, but Melody Stacy-Sandona has dropped out – although her name remains on the ballot.
The others are incumbents Mark Werner and Cheryl Welch, George Klein – appointed last month to fill the remaining 8 months of Keith Crofutt’s term, Jason Dye, Mark Graves, Shane Shepherd, and Teddy Hamar.
There are 5 candidates for Crawford City Council with incumbents Ed Kuhnel and Ronnie Thompson challenged by Ernie DeGunia Jr, Shane Norman, and April Grant. The top 4 vote-getters will advance from the primary with one candidate eliminated.
At the local level, both the Chadron and Crawford School boards will have contested races in November but not in the primary.
Only one statewide race is drawing any significant attention – the Republican race for governor.
While there are 9 candidates, polls indicate the top 3 – Charles Herbster, Jim Pillen, and Brett Lindstrom – should pull 65-to-80% of the vote.
Logan Phillips, the national political analyst who correctly predicted last week’s Republican Senate primary in Ohio, gives Herbster a 44% chance of winning, Pillen a 42% chance, and Lindstrom a 14% chance.
There are also contested GOP primaries for all the constitutional offices.Secretary of State Bob Evnen has two opponents who have focused their campaigns on supporting Donald Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud 2 years ago.
Treasurer John Murante has a little-known challenger, State Senator Mike Hilgers faces a non-lawyer in the Attorney General’s race, Lt Governor Mike Foley’s bid for his old job as auditor also had 1 little-known opponent.
Incumbent District 5 Public Service Commissioner Mary Ridder has 2 challengers in the GOP primary with Gering businessman Kevin Stocker one of them. 3rd District Congressman Adrian Smith is opposed by Mike Calhoun.
The Democrats have 2 candidates in the 3rd District, but Carol Blood is unopposed for governor and there are no Democrats in any of the other constitutional offices.
In non-partisan races, State Board of Education District 7 incumbent Robin Stevens has 2 challengers – Pat Moore and Elizabeth Tegtmeier – with the top 2 advancing.
The open University of Nebraska Regent District 7 seat has attracted Matt Williams, Nolan Gurnsey, and Kathy Wilmot.