In what promises to be a closely-watched, high-stakes U.S. Senate race this fall, former Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska easily won the Democratic nomination for his old job and will square off against Republican Deb Fischer — a surprise come-from-behind winner in the GOP primary — for the seat being vacated by conservative Democrat Ben Nelson.
Kerrey, a former governor of the state, represented Nebraska in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 2001.
As expected, the one-time presidential candidate had little trouble defeating Chuck Hassebrook, a former member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, and three lesser-known rivals in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
According to unofficial returns, the 68-year-old Kerrey garnered more than eighty percent of the vote, swamping Hassebrook by a margin of 65,006 to 9,789, while an additional 5,625 votes were divided among Kerrey’s three other Democratic challengers.
Hassebrook, who gave up his seat on the Board of Regents to run for the Senate, withdrew from the race earlier in the primary and endorsed Kerrey, but his name remained on Tuesday’s primary ballot.