Nebraska: Kerrey, State GOP Dispute His Eligibility

Posted March 20, 2012 at 4:46pm

Nebraska Republicans are pursuing legal actions to remove former Sen. Bob Kerrey from the state’s ballot in the race to replace retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D).

The issue at hand is Kerrey’s residency, which had started as a political problem and has become a legal one.

The state Republican Party is challenging in court a prior ruling from Secretary of State John Gale. Gale ruled on Friday that although Kerrey violated Nebraska ballot requirements, he did qualify under the U.S. Constitution to appear on the ballot.

The point of contention is whether Kerrey actually lived in the residence he claimed or whether he was a resident of a local hotel. Previously, Kerrey has lived in New York City since 2001.

The state GOP announced today that it is appealing that ruling in court.

A news release from the party stated, “The facts are clear: in a botched attempt to transform himself from a Greenwich Village New York resident to a Nebraska resident literally overnight, Bob Kerrey provided false information under oath on his signed voter registration and candidate filing application, and failed to meet Nebraska’s standard for appearing on the ballot.”

The Kerrey campaign and the state Democratic Party quickly responded this afternoon.

“Republican leaders have unfortunately, but predictably, opted to take another senseless step to undermine the fair election process,” Kerrey campaign manager Paul Johnson said in a statement. “It is an attempt to win by robbery what they would otherwise lose in an election. In the end, they will fail.”

The state party attempted to turn the New York argument against Republicans.

“These kinds of political shenanigans might be expected in New York, but not in Nebraska. Now who is playing the part of a New Yorker? Fair, competitive elections are the Nebraska Way,” Nebraska Democratic Party chairman Vic Covalt said in a statement.