Nebraska candidates hit last day on campaign trail

Terry leads White in fundraising

Published Monday, November 1, 2010: By Margery A. Beck, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rep. Lee Terry is spending the day in Nebraska's 2nd House District, waving campaign signs at busy Omaha intersections and greeting potential voters in workplaces and lunch counters in his last full day of campaigning.

The Republican was among dozens of candidates -- including incumbent GOP Gov. Dave Heineman and his Democratic challenger Mike Meister -- making a last-minute push Monday to sway Nebraska voters the day before the polls open.

Terry is seeking a seventh term and faces a formidable challenge from Democratic state Sen. Tom White.

Terry posted on a social networking site Monday that he would be "on the road constantly throughout the district."

White, too, hit swing parts of the district Monday to knock on doors and called on volunteers to help, as well as to make phone calls to spur people to vote on Tuesday.

"What we are seeing on the ground is much different than national prognosticators: Nebraskans know that in order to change Washington, they can't keep sending back the same people," White campaign manager Ian Russell said Monday.

White and Terry are part of a larger battle playing out nationally for control of Congress. Democrats gained 55 seats in the House over 2006 and 2008, but Republicans are looking to gain the 40 seats they need for control.

But in their Omaha-centered House district, both Terry and White are struggling against apparent voter apathy. Election officials in the district have predicted only about 4-in-10 registered voters will cast ballots in the Tuesday election.

In the governor's race, Meister started the day in Omaha and planned to work his way west across the state along Interstate 80, meeting with voters and reporters. At a Monday afternoon news conference, Meister "apologized" for what he called an error in his recent campaign ads -- that the state faces a $751 million dollar budget gap.

A state economic forecasting board on Friday lowered its projections for Nebraska's tax revenue, pushing the state's projected budget gap through mid-2013 to nearly $1.4 billion.

Meister joined the race at a huge disadvantage in late July, with almost no campaign money and fewer than 100 days to go before the general election. Meister accepted his nomination from the floor of the Nebraska Democratic Party's state convention, which came after the previous Democratic nominee, Mark Lakers, abruptly withdrew from the race amid a campaign finance reporting scandal.

Heineman planned to go about the business of governor Monday, giving remarks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Kearney. He was to be in Omaha by early evening, in time to attend a Republican rally with Terry and other GOP candidates.


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