Hagel’s Former Chief of Staff Backs Esch Over Terry

Posted October 31, 2008 at 4:32pm

Businessman Jim Esch (D) has been endorsed by Sen. Chuck Hagel’s (R-Neb.) former chief of staff in his increasingly competitive bid to oust Rep. Lee Terry (R) in Nebraska’s 2nd district.

Lou Ann Linehan, a longtime Hagel aide, is a former executive director of the Douglas County Republican Party and has been active in Cornhusker State politics for more than two decades. Terry’s campaign noted that it had previously been endorsed by Richard Carter, whom Esch defeated earlier this year in the 2nd district Democratic primary.

“It is time to set party labels aside and elect people who will first and foremost put the interest of Nebraska and our Country ahead of themselves and partisan politics,” Linehan said in a statement released by the Esch campaign.

The 2nd district leans Republican, but the race is considered a tossup at this point. Terry campaign manager Dave Boomer, emphasizing that today is Halloween, had this tongue-and-cheek reaction to Linehan’s endorsement of Esch: “Who’s she?”

Boomer said he would take Carter’s endorsement over Linehan’s any day, noting that the Democrat has been active in Terry’s campaign. Boomer also suggested that Linehan is no longer the force in 2nd district politics that she once was.