Fischer announces GOP Senate bid

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June 27, 2011 - 7:00pm



State Senator Deb Fischer of Valentine added her name Tuesday to the list of Republicans hoping to take on Democratic U.S. Senator Ben Nelson next year.

Fischer's the third prominent Republican in the race to unseat Nelson joining Attorney General Jon Bruning and State Treasurer Don Stenberg. Both Stenberg and Bruning have run for the Senate previously, and currently hold statewide offices.

By contrast, Fischer has for the last seven years represented one legislative district - albeit the biggest one, stretching more than 200 miles from corner to corner in the Sandhills. On her statewide announcement tour, Fischer stood in front of her childhood home in Lincoln, where she was introduced and endorsed by former Gov. Kay Orr, and acknowledged a long road ahead.

"I realize I don't have the name recognition," she said. But, she added, "I'm not afraid of hard work. I'm not afraid of travelling this state. I put on 30,000 miles a year just covering my legislative district and performing my legislative duties. So yes, it's going to take hard work, it's going to take a lot of meetings, it's going to be attending a lot of events, and it'll take
fundraising."

Describing herself as a wife, mother, rancher and small business owner, Fischer promised to bring conservative values to Washington, in contrast to what she said was Nelson's record.

"Ben Nelson cast the key, deciding votes for Obamacare and the stimulus package," she declared. "Ben Nelson lined up with Washington and he supported the bailout. His record demonstrates that he represents the agenda of President Obama and
Washington, DC."

With Bruning and Stenberg stressing similar themes, Fischer cited her diverse experiences and her legislative record as ways in which she would distinguish herself. "I've shown that I've been effective in the legislative arena," she said. "I've been able to get things done with public policy making and in the legislative side of things. And that's important. That's what the U.S. Senate is all about."

Fischer's highest-profile legislative accomplishment was getting a bill passed to begin setting aside some existing state sales tax for road construction. Republican Governor Dave Heineman and legislative Democrats said that might deprive schools and health programs of needed funds.

In addition to Fischer, Bruning and Stenberg, the Republican primary field also includes financial advisor Pat Flynn, and truck driver Spencer Zimmerman.

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