Update May 10 at 11:45 pm: We posted results below! Great Bold candidates ran in the primary and we are proud to have endorsed and recommended lots of winners!
83% of the candidates Bold and the New Energy Voter Pac included in our Voter Guide are moving on to the general election this November! We will have more info soon on how you can volunteer to help candidates in close races. Please consider donating to the New Energy Voter Pac so we can keep building a strong voter turnout campaign.
“An incredible 83% of candidates Bold included in our Voter Guide are moving on to the general election. Citizens who stood up against Keystone XL are now showing their power in the voting booth. Nebraskans care about property rights, clean energy and strong urban and rural communities. We stand proud and ready to mobilize pipeline fighters this November to win elections and change the political landscape of our state.” -Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska Director
The BOLD Voter Guide for the May 10 Primary Election will focus on State Legislature, PSC, NPPD and OPPD races. We handpicked a few other races that have rockstar Bold candidates for school board, city council and mayor in various parts of our great state. For the general election in November, we will cover many other races from the top (i.e. President) to down-ballot offices.
VOTE on May 10th (even if you caucused!): Polls open 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. CT
- A “Bold Candidate” means we are fully endorsing the candidate. These candidates not only deserve your vote, they also deserve your donations of time and money! Some candidates we list below are not the ideal Bold politician. However, in those cases we did our best to choose the person we thought is open to listening.
- Save the BOLD Voter Guide to your phone:
NOTES ON VOTING:
- Caucused with Democrats? Even if you caucused with Democrats, you still need to vote on May 10! Candidates in down-ballot races are counting on you to show up. The Presidential candidates will still also be on the ballot for Democrats — it’s just that this vote does not count towards the magic “delegates” candidates need to win the nomination. However, primary races for State Senate, OPPD, PSC, etc. need your votes!
- Registered Independent? If you are a Registered Independent, you cannot vote for President in the primary (you can in November, do not worry!). You should still show up on May 10, because these down ballot races are critical. Registered Independents may choose a Democratic or Republican ballot when you arrive to vote on May 10. We suggest asking for a Republican ballot, since key PSC races are only on the Republican ballot in the primary phase.
- Polling Place? Note: Your May 10 polling location is different from where you caucused. Click here to find your polling place.
District #1 (Nebraska City area)
Primary Winner: Dan was the only person on the ballot, he is District 1 new State Senator
Dan is running unopposed. He has not stood with Bold on many of the issues that are important to us. Dan supports the KXL Pipeline. After four years he will term out. We hope at that time a candidate will run who better represents the people’s interests.
District #3 (Bellevue/Papillion area)
Primary Winner: Carol (yeah!) was one of two candidates, so both will make it thru to the general!
Carol Blood — *BOLD Candidate*
Carol is a Bold candidate. She stood with us against the KXL Pipeline and eminent domain for private gain. Carol was raised on a family farm and has a deep understanding of the risks associated with Industrial Ag and vertical integration (corporate ownership of hogs and poultry from birth to slaughter). Carol says that, “preventing the export of toxic fracking wastewater into Nebraska and protecting our Ogallala Aquifer” are top priorities for her campaign.
District #5 (Omaha area)
Primary Winner: Mike (yeah!) was one of two candidates, so both will make it thru to the general!
Mike is a former firefighter. If he is elected, we hope to work with him to establish strong spill response laws for first responders.
District #7 (South Omaha area)
Primary Winner: Tony (yeah!) got the most votes in a crowded primary, he makes it to the general!
Tony Vargas — *BOLD Candidate*
Tony is a Bold candidate and a young Nebraskan who will bring creative ideas and a grassroots voice to the Unicameral. He was against the KXL Pipeline and eminent domain for private gain. Tony will represent South Omaha with grit and determination. As a state senator he will “work to develop further state-based incentives for wind and solar developers,” because “it makes sense for both our environment and our economy, and revenue generated from seizing the opportunities to develop our world class resources can be used to provide property taxes, alleviating the burden on low and middle income families and Nebraska family farmers and ranchers.”
District #9 (Omaha area)
Primary Winner: Sara (yeah!) got the most votes in the primary, he makes it to the general!
Sara Howard — *BOLD Candidate*
Sara is a Bold candidate. She stood with family farmers against the Corporate Pigs Bill. She is a young Nebraskan who brings new ideas to the legislature.
District #11 (North Omaha area)
Primary Winner: Ernie Chambers (yeah!) and John Sciara, Ernie got over 70% of the vote in the 3-way primary race
Ernie Chambers — *BOLD Candidate*
Ernie is a Bold candidate. He is working with landowners to re-introduce a critical bill on eminent domain. We support his bold leadership and grassroots style!
District #13 (Omaha area)
Primary Winners: Jill Brown and Justin Wayne (we know Justin well and he will earn our endorsement for the general election, we hope Jake throws his hat in the ring for a different office in the future).
Jake Seeman — *BOLD Candidate*
Jake is a Bold candidate. He works at the Domina Law Group, which represented landowners in the Keystone XL fight. Jake is firmly against eminent domain for private gain, and wants to see the growth of clean energy as a real priority in the Nebraska Legislature. Jake explains that he “was one of the few legislative candidates to stand firmly against LB 176 the corporate hog bill. This sort of legislation clearly benefits large corporations and harms small individuals.” Jake is also against using public money for private Charter Schools.
District #15 (Fremont area)
Primary Winner: Since only two candidates were on the primary ballot, both make it thru to the general; we hope to host a town hall with local residents so candidates can discuss this critical issue.
Write in “Stop Corporate Takeover of Our Family Farms”
Both Lynne Walz and Sen. Schnoor support the corporate takeover of our family farms with the latest land grab attempt by Costco in the town of Nickerson. Sen. Schnoor signed a non-disclosure form with what was an unnamed corporation (we know its Costco now), keeping his constituents in the dark about a massive industrial chicken proposal that the community was opposed to because of water and environmental concerns. Lynne is no better on this issue. So, until one of them changes their mind, we ask people to write in “Stop Corporate Takeover of Our Family Farms” rather than vote for either Walz or Schnoor.
District #17 (Sioux City area)
Primary Winner: Ardel (yeah!) got the most votes in a crowded primary, she makes it to the general!
Ardel Bengtson — *BOLD Candidate*
Ardel is a Bold candidate. She is a former public-school teacher who believes that the legislature should develop a clean-energy plan in order to reduce carbon pollution. She is against eminent domain for private gain, and if elected will focus on developing “sustainable, renewable energy sources.”
District #19 (Norfolk area)
Primary Winner: Jim had no opponent in the primary, he is District 19’s State Senator now
Jim is running unopposed. After four years he will term out. We hope that at that time a candidate will run who better represents the people’s interests. (Calling Josh Moenning, who actually is running for Mayor unopposed, go Josh!)
District #21 (Lincoln area)
Primary Winner: Larry (yeah!) made it thru to the general election which will be tough, so volunteer for Larry! We hope Rick runs for another office soon.
Rick Vest OR Larry Scherer — *BOLD Candidates*
Rick Vest and Larry Scherer are both amazing Bold candidates. Both are against eminent domain for private gain and against the KXL Pipeline. We could not narrow it further than these two!
District #23 (Wahoo area)
Primary Winner: Jerry (yeah!) makes it to the general!
Jerry is opposed to eminent domain for private gain and against allowing other states to dump fracking wastewater into our land and water. His opponent hates clean energy, so we need Jerry in the State Legislature. If he earns your vote, he will work to “create economic advances in rural places.”
District #25 (parts of east Lincoln, Waverly, Walton & north Lancaster Cty)
Primary Winner: Jim (yeah!) and his mustache make it to the general in a very crowded field!
Jim Gordon — *BOLD Candidate*
Jim is a Bold candidate. Right off the bat, let us just say his mustache deserves your vote! As a Lincoln attorney, he is committed to conflict resolution. If elected, he intends to focus on making community college and technical training more available and affordable. Jim is against eminent domain for private gain, and is committed to protecting the Ogallala Aquifer, “I will resist any tarsands or other pipeline that endangers the aquifer.”
District #27 (Lincoln area)
Primary Winner: Anna (yeah!) makes it to the general!
Anna Wishart — *BOLD Candidate*
Anna is a Bold candidate. She is a young Nebraskan who is a proven leader. She worked at the grassroots level to help stop the KXL Pipeline while pushing our state leaders to develop more clean energy options. Anna supports family farmers and the local food movement. Anna will “fight for increasing our investment in water sustainability so that we maintain quality water in our state to support farmers and ranchers, drinking water and wildlife for generations.”
District #29 (Lincoln area)
Primary Winner: Kate (yeah!) makes it to the general!
Kate joined the grassroots and landowners with her vote to establish restrictions and oversight on fracking wastewater. She is against eminent domain for private gain, and she stood with family farmers when she voted against the Corporate Pig bill! Kate will “work on water quality and use of the Water Sustainability Fund for water quality purposes in my role on the Appropriations committee.” Kate did support the KXL pipeline and we are meeting with her to discuss this issue.
District #31 (Omaha area)
Primary Winner: Rick (yeah!) makes it to the general!
Rick is strong on human rights issues. He joined many state senators in a vote to override Rickett’s veto of a critical immigration bill that will help young Nebraskans. When it comes to clean energy and family farming, Rick has a lot to learn. We still think he is the best choice for this district, but we encourage voters to urge him to support family farmers and clean energy.
District #33 (Hastings area)
Primary Winner: Les (yeah!) makes it to the general and that race will be difficult, so please volunteer for Les!
Les is not the ideal Bold politician. This district deserves a more progressive and populist voice. Les is however the best choice in the race and this will be his last term opening up the seat to a young Nebraskan in four years. We hope more women will run for this seat the next time around (looking at you small business owners in Hastings!).
District #35 (Grand Island area)
Primary Winner: Dan (yeah!) got the most votes in the primary, he makes it to the general!
Dan Quick — *BOLD Candidate*
Dan is a Bold candidate. He is a working-class Nebraskan who lives on his family’s multi-generation farm. Dan will bring much needed economic diversity to the Unicameral. As a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), he supports clean energy and sees its potential for job creation.
District #37 (Kearney area)
Primary Winner: Bob (yeah!) makes it to the general!
None of the candidates running in this district returned the Bold survey, so we don’t know their positions on issues important to Bold. We chose the best one after reading up on the candidates online. John Lowe was endorsed by Gov. Ricketts, so we say stay far away from him, we do not need any more Ricketts million-dollar puppets in the Unicam!
Bob Lammers is a member of the Kearney City Council. Bob says on his website that he will “focus on supporting a dynamic agriculture system, prioritizing livestock growth and responsible water management,” and he will encourage “economic development programs that emphasize job creation, a strong workforce, and affordable housing.”
District #39 (Omaha and Waterloo area)
Primary Winner: Bill (yeah!) makes it to the general in a tough primary race, Bill is a family farmer and needs your volunteer hours!
Bill Armbrust — *BOLD Candidate*
Bill is a Bold candidate. He was against the KXL pipeline and eminent domain for private gain. As a Nebraska farmer, he supports family farmers over Industrial Ag. Bill also does not want to see Nebraska accept out-of-state fracking wastewater. He supports “the expansion of homegrown renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal energy,” and will encourage “more local ownership opportunities into our renewable energy resources.”
District #41 (Albion, Pierce, Cedar Rapids)
Primary Winner: Tom was the only candidate in the race, we hope he represents District 41 with close attention to concerns around tarsands pipelines.
Write in “NoKXL”
Tom Briese is running unopposed and so we ask you to write in “NoKXL.” He embraced Keystone XL without blinking an eye and appeared in an ad for TransCanada. Tom is an Albion farmer and a member of the Nebraska Cattlemen. Tom did not return his survey, so we do not know his position on other issues important to Bold. We hope progressives, populists and women will run for this seat in the future. Feel free to write in someone else!
District #43 (Chadron, Valentine area)
Primary Winner: Al (yeah!) makes it to the general! Gov. Ricketts is making sure Al’s opponent has lots of money, so Al will need your volunteer hours!
Al Davis — *BOLD Candidate*
Al is a Bold candidate. He stood up for citizens in Western Nebraska by making it clear that our state should not be a dumping ground for Wyoming and Colorado’s fracking wastewater. We love his commitment to small towns, family farmers and ranchers as well as clean energy. He is 100% against vertical, corporate-owned Ag practices. Al’s primary goal is to “diversify the economy of rural Nebraska to stem population loss.”
District #45 (Bellevue area)
Primary Winner: Sue (yeah!) makes it to the general!
Sue is one of only a few women in the Nebraska Legislature. She stands up for farmers and middle-class families. Sue helped pass a bill that gives families assistance in transitioning older family members into home-care settings.
District #47 (Ogallala, Sidney, the Panhandle)
Primary Winner: Peggy did not make it thru the primary (boo!), we will have more info soon on this race.
None of the candidates running in this district returned the Bold survey, so we don’t know their positions on issues important to Bold. We did out best to choose the person we think deserves your vote according to what they say online and in the press.
Peggy Popps is a former police officer for the City of Sidney and now works in Cabela’s Corporate Safety Committee and the Emergency Response Team. Peggy is also the coordinator for the Region 21 Emergency Management CERT program. Given her experience in emergency response and CERT, we think its possible to work with her to establish oil spill emergency response laws for first responders.
District #49 (Gretna, La Vista area)
Primary Winner: John had no opponent, so he is the State Senator again for District 49!
John does not have anyone running against him. He is a champion for independent redistricting, which has hugely impacted our elections. Unfortunately, John’s bill was vetoed by Governor Ricketts. We hope that he will introduce a similar bill in the next session. We encourage voters to urge him to be more active on clean-energy issues and family farming, because he supported the Corporate Pig bill.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Reminder: The PSC races are partisan (meaning candidates have to declare GOP or Dem). So, independents should request a GOP ballot when you vote in the primary so you can vote in the PSC races since there are NO primaries on the Democratic side.
PSC District #4 (Eastern/Central Nebraska)
Primary Winner: Rod Johnson beat Tammy in the partisan primary and no Democrat is running, so Rod will be the PSC member for the next 6 years and we can only hope we will be fair when any pipeline comes across his desk and that he is more engaged in rural broadband.
Tammy Cheatum — *BOLD Candidate*
Tammy is a Bold candidate. She was a landowner who stood up against Keystone XL and now she is running for office! She will hold community meetings to get input, which is something most PSC members simply do not do right now. Tammy is a supporter of clean energy and against eminent domain for private gain. She said, “the older I get, the more importance I see for making our land, water and air safe for future generations. We take these resources for granted when we need to provide a clean plan for leaving them better for our children.”
PSC District #5 (Western Nebraska)
Primary Winner: Mary Ridder beat Jerry who was the incumbent in this partisan primary and no Democrat was running, so Mary will be the new PSC member. She responded very well to our survey so we look forward getting to know her.
Jerry has supported clean energy in the past. While he is not the ideal Bold candidate, we think he is the strongest in the field. We hope Jerry starts holding listening sessions since the PSC can and should be putting in place stronger regulations around pipelines and fracking waste.
NEBRASKA PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT (NPPD)
NPPD District #3 (Kearney area)
Primary Winner: Ron (yeah) makes it to the general!
Ron is against eminent domain for private gain. He also thinks Nebraska must move forward on creating a Clean Energy Plan. Ron has served on the board for several years and we think is in a position to get NPPD to take serious steps in reforming the way the largest utility in our state adds more clean energy, including solar.
NPPD District #4 (North Platte area)
Primary Winner: Bill (yeah!) makes it to the general!
Bill would be a new member on the NPPD Board and we need fresh ideas! Bill is against eminent domain for private gain and thinks Nebraska should develop a Clean Energy Plan. If elected, Bill said, “Stronger and more vigorous research into wind power in the state of Nebraska.”
NPPD District #8 (Beatrice/Fairbury area)
Primary Winner: Gary (yeah) makes it to the general!
Gary is the incumbent and continues to be one of the voices on the board that stands up for clean energy development. NPPD needs a staff leadership change since their CEO is stuck in coal thinking and status quo energy development models. We hope if Gary is re-elected he will push for a new CEO who does not get a $500,000 bonus for just staying on the job for five years (that is a fact, that is happening in Nebraska’s public power system with YOUR rate payer dollars).
NPPD District #10 (Norfolk area)
Primary Winners: Zak did not make it thru the primary, we will figure out the best choice out of the remaining two candidates for the general election.
Zak is a young leader in the Norfolk area. We think he is best choice for this district and will bring a set of fresh eyes and thoughts on how we can balance property rights, utility rates and the need to develop more clean energy in our state.
OMAHA PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT (OPPD)
OPPD District #4 (rural parts of OPPD)
Primary Winner: Rick Yoder (yeah!) made it thru the primary in a very competitive race
Rick Yoder — *BOLD Candidate*
Rick is a Bold candidate. He is against eminent domain for private gain and support Omaha developing more clean energy. He thinks Nebraska is falling behind Iowa not only in wind but also in developing a comprehensive Clean Energy Plan. Rick was against OPPD’s rate increase. Rick said he wants to focus on, “distributed electric generation (from renewable sources) and new business development as a diversification opportunity with existing rural coops in partnership with public power.” Rick also went door-to-door last election cycle with the Cowboy and Indian Alliance!
OPPD District #5 (Omaha area)
Primary Winner: Craig Moody (yeah!) made it thru the primary in a very competitive race
Craig Moody — *BOLD Candidate*
Craig is a Bold candidate. He is a young leader who strongly stands against eminent domain for private gain. Craig will ensure the outrageous OPPD utility rate increase gets overturned while pushing for the development of more clean energy with citizens at the table. Craig said, “I’m going to work hard for two things: 1) improved transparency and openness and 2) clean energy. They are my highest priorities.” Craig shows up and stand up, we need him on the board.
BOLD CANDIDATES IN OTHER RACES
Young people, women and ranchers who helped stop the KXL pipeline are running for various offices that we want to draw your attention to that are not in one of the key areas above of the Voter Guide.
Alex Gates (Omaha Public Schools, Subdistrict 3) — *BOLD Candidate*
Primary Winner: Gates (yeah!) makes it to the general!
Alex will bring fresh ideas to the school board and is the dad of four kids all under the age of 10! The core of his campaign focuses on the need for meaningful community engagement and clear communication with the school community. Alex is a savy member of the tech community in Omaha and can help bridge the tech divide. Alex loves public schools and does NOT support public money going to fund private charter schools.
Susan Straka-Heyden (Holt County Board, District 6) — *BOLD Candidate*
Primary Winner: Suz did not make it to the general (boo!), she is one of the strongest women we know in our state and hope she runs again soon!
Suz is a rancher in the Sandhills and was one of the landowners who sued Gov. Heineman for violating the state constitution on eminent domain for private gain. She is tough, smart and her voice is needed on the Holt County. She is in a crowded GOP Republican field. Suz needs your support!
Brian Whitecalf (Hall County Board, District 6) — *BOLD Candidate*
Primary Winner: Whitecalf (yeah!) makes it to the general, he was the only Dem, so he faces a Republican in the general since this is a partisan office.
Brian is a young Nebraskan who is driven to build strong communities based on trust and accountability. He wants to help Hall County build a public power solar farm that would be competitive in capacity as the largest in state.
Kathy Peterson Duval (Mayor, City of Hastings) — *BOLD Candidate*
Primary Winner: Kathy (yeah!) makes it to the general in a very competitive primary!
Kathy is proven leader who understand clean energy and small businesses who can grow the community in smart ways. Reality is we need women leaders at all levels of our government and Kathy will make us all proud.