Six days away from the Nebraska Primary, Attorney General Jon Bruning picked up a couple of key endorsements Wednesday in the race for governor. He got them from the incumbent and the Omaha mayor.
Last month, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman told WOWT 6 News he would likely give his blessing to a candidate as we got closer to the election. He waited until we were six days out.
"We're both very pleased to be here today to endorse Jon Bruning as our next Governor of Nebraska," he said.
Heineman and Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert teamed-up to explain why they believe Bruning should win the primary. They said the key is his experience to carry the torch for jobs and education.
Mayor Stothert said, "Jon first took office as a state senator the first year I started public service and that was in 1997. I've always liked that he worked his way from the bottom up - just as I did."
Experts we spoke with said this endorsement from a popular governor hurts Pete Ricketts the most.
Ricketts, who was campaigning in the western part of the state Wednesday, told WOWT 6 News in a statement that this is no time for auto-pilot; that he can bring about reform and growth, not status quo, and that his real-world business experience can fix the problems.
We asked Governor Heineman if this support was pro-Bruning or anti-Ricketts and he old us, “For Jon Bruning."
Bruning, who has served as attorney general for 12 years said, “This is rocket fuel for our campaign."
He believes this will set him apart in a crowded primary field.
Considering he once had front-runner status in the race for U.S. Senate and lost that, Governor Heineman acknowledged there's only one endorsement that really counts: “The most important endorsement is coming next Tuesday -- the citizens of Nebraska,” he said.
Dave Heineman took on legendary football coach and former congressman Tom Osborne in his first primary fight. Bruning supported Osborne in that campaign.
Now, Heineman is supporting Bruning. Osborne has endorsed Mike Foley in the race for governor.
The other big names in this contest are state senators Tom Carlson and Beau McCoy as well as Omaha attorney Bryan Slone.
The election is Tuesday.