Bruning enters governor’s race

Norma Volkmer, News Editor

Jon Bruning, Nebraska’s attorney general, entered the gubernatorial race last Saturday as the sixth Republican candidate ahead of the May primary.

He is the latest candidate to throw his hat in the ring, and his decision came just a week after State Sen. Charlie Janssen became another casualty in this up and down race.

Despite his late entry, Bruning has become the instant front-runner, taking the top spot from Pete Ricketts, who leads the funds race. Ricketts raised over $1.3 million last year, without using any of his own money.

Bruning, while not having planned on running, still has $850,000 in his war chest, which puts him just behind Ricketts in funds. He also brings a state-wide recognition, a huge advantage.

He was the front-runner for the Nebraska Senate seat in 2012, a seat Deb Fischer would win, has served as attorney general for twelve years unopposed and was a member of the unicameral for the six years prior.

According to his campaign website, Bruning is running on the promise that he will stand up to Barack Obama and the federal government for the Nebraskans, especially in regards to the Affordable Care Act.

Bruning also cited his experience as attorney general fighting against the Obama administration on both stopping the ACA and on changes to energy costs for Nebraskans. He named balancing the budget, changing the tax code and immigration as the big issues facing Nebraska now.

Besides declaring his intention this weekend, Bruning also started a state-wide campaign tour on Monday, something most of the other candidates have already done or are doing.

It isn’t typical for such latecomers to have such an effect, but Bruning’s name recognition and experience, both in working for the state and in campaigns, can definitely give him a lead over the other candidates.

This announcement has also opened up the attorney general race, as Bruning was previously running unopposed. His decision to run for governor is a definite shake-up in the Nebraska elections this year.