Democrats were overjoyed when former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey announced that he might consider running for retiring Senator Ben Nelson’s seat. But that joy was short lived, as a few weeks later Kerrey decided that he was not ready to return to the world of politics.
Now, Kerrey may have changed his mind.
Democratic sources in Washington cautioned Monday evening that Kerrey had conveyed the message to national Democratic leaders that he was rethinking his initial decision to stay out of the race. Some top Democrats interpreted Kerrey’s private comments as a clear signal he was jumping into the open-seat race, but others weren’t convinced.
“I can’t confirm anything; it’s up to him,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told POLITICO Monday evening. “Look, I think in Nebraska like every other state in the country that where we can say they’re tough red states, we’re seeing our Democrats do well. I think Bob Kerrey will be a great candidate there if he decides to run.”
Just like the last time he was believed to be mulling a run, opposition is already mounting a preemptive strike against him. This time, the push is being lead by anti-abortion action groups. ” National Right to Life Committee writes, “During his two terms in the U.S. Senate (1989-2000), Kerrey cast three votes in accord with NRLC’s positions, while he voted against NRLC 70 times, for a career Senate score of 4% (four percent).”
Kerrey has until March 1st to make a formal decision and file paperwork before the Nebraska filing deadline.
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