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The Other Nebraska Races

With so much attention focused on Republican Gov. David Heinemann’s dramatic defeat of Rep. and former University of Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne two weeks ago, results from other nomination battles in the Cornhusker State took a back seat. But there were several important contests.

Pete Ricketts, former chief operating officer of the Ameritrade Holding Corp., handily won the Republican nomination for the Senate over two opponents. First-time candidate Ricketts, who took a strong stand for securing the borders and said he would have voted against both the administration-backed "No Child Left Behind" federal education program and the costly prescription-drug bill, drew 48% of the vote to 36% for former State Attorney General and 2000 Senate nominee Don Stenberg and 16% for former State Party Chairman David Kramer. Ricketts now faces Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson.

In the 3rd District (Western Nebraska) vacated by Osborne, his top aide, John Hanson, had long been considered heir apparent to the outgoing congressman ("Cardinal Ratzinger to Osborne’s John Paul," as one wag put it). But in a stunning upset, conservative State Sen. Adrian Smith won the GOP nomination with 38% of the vote to 29% for Hanson and 28% to Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek. The 35-year-old Smith ran hardest on abortion and other social issues and had the support of the conservative Club for Growth.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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