A serious contender PDF E-mail

Nebraska’s race for governor just got interesting.

Though there is still plenty of time for others to throw their hat in the ring, as they surely will, Dist. 34 Sen. Annette Dubas announced this week that she will be among the candidates trying to replace Dave Heineman. Having observed her work as our own state senator for the past seven years, local constituents know Dubas will be a serious contender.

Whether or not you agree with her political persuasion -- a Democrat in a staunchly Republican state and district -- Dubas has earned her stripes in Lincoln. Now we’re about to find out if she can spread her message effectively on a statewide scale.

From day one on the campaign trail, Dubas touted herself as a good listener and a hard-working rancher not afraid to get her hands dirty and roll up her sleeves when necessary. She has become a voice to be heard in the state capitol, taking a seat at the table for some of the most challenging issues.

She took the railroad to task, for example, demanding answers on questions that deserved asking. She was also a key player in the TransCanada debate last year, one of a handful of senators who helped steer the early conversation. She has stepped up to the leadership table late in her tenure to chair the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee.

At the root of her resume, the thing that is quite frankly most impressive about Sen. Dubas’ time in Lincoln, is her willingness to do her homework and attempt to understand every aspect of an issue. That’s an admirable trait, one that has earned her respect from all her colleagues.

As for her chances to become governor, it’s way too soon to know. Mike Flood would have been the front-runner if life circumstances would have allowed, but as it stands it’s a wide open race, perhaps the most intriguing in years.

Sen. Dubas and Chuck Hassebrook, among others, promise to deliver a spirited debate in the Democratic primary. Several names have been mentioned for the Republican ticket, though the list of official candidates is still uncertain.

Sen. Dubas upped the ante for any and all who choose to run. With her family’s full support, we can expect her to be tireless on the campaign trail, travelling the state, making speeches, and most importantly, listening.

That goes a long way with Nebraska voters.

Kurt Johnson

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