The shape of next year's Senate races became a bit clearer this week as former Nebraska Gov. Bob Kerrey announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination in his state and North Dakota's Rep. Byron L. Dorgan said he would not challenge Sen. Quentin N. Burdick for the Democratic nomination.
Kerrey, whose announcement ended months of speculation, called the federal deficit the biggest problem facing the country, saying Americans are "mortgaging our future."
Only one other Democrat so far, Ken Michaelis, a former attorney disbarred for attacking the legal profession, has said he will enter the Nebraska Senate race next year. Candidates for the Republican nomination are Sen. David Karnes, appointed to the seat after the death of Sen. Edward Zorinsky, a Democrat, last March, and U.S. Rep. Hal Daub.
In Fargo, N.D., Dorgan said: "The wrenching, difficult challenge necessary to win the nomination could create wounds too deep to heal. The cost of my victory could tear apart a party I helped to build." Dorgan will seek reelection to the House.
Burdick, 79, announced earlier this month that he would run for reelection to the Senate.