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State lawmaker wins Nebraska GOP Senate nomination

May 15, 2012|By Lisa Mascaro

WASHINGTON -- Deb Fischer, a little-known state senator, triumphed in Nebraska’s bitterly contested Republican Senate primary Tuesday night, winning the right to face Democrat Bob Kerrey in November.

The race had become a high-profile showdown among tea party leaders, who split their support among three candidates. The spot being vacated by Democrat Ben Nelson is considered the GOP’s best opportunity to gain a Senate seat this fall.

Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had endorsed Fischer last week, giving her candidacy a boost. Her two main opponents, state Atty. Gen. Jon Bruning and state Treasurer Don Stenberg, had spent months battering each other. 

“In the end, call it an old-school three-way primary where two flawed candidates provided an opening for a third,” said Jennifer Duffy, a senior analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “Republicans might be better off with her.”

Mitt Romney easily won the Nebraska Republican presidential primary. He also won in Oregon.

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