Updated 11:50 a.m. ET: Hassebrook has officially dropped out and endorsed Kerrey, the Omaha World-Herald reports.
Speculation is mounting that Bob Kerrey could now have a clear path to the Democratic nomination for Senate in Nebraska, with his primary opponent Chuck Hassebrook possibly on the verge of dropping out.
Early Thursday morning, the Nebraska Democratic Party sent out a press release scheduling an event today at 10:30 a.m. CT: “Senator Bob Kerrey and University Regent Chuck Hassebrook will make a joint announcement this morning regarding their campaigns for the United States Senate.”
The Lincoln Journal Star reported Wednesday night that Hassebrook abruptly canceled a fundraising event for Thursday, with no indication that it would be rescheduled.
Hassebrook is serving his third six-year term on the state university Board of Regents, which is an elected office in the state, representing a district in the state’s rural northeastern region. But because he jumped into the race during a time when Kerrey was seemingly not going to run, he has had to give up his re-election race for the Board.
Under Nebraska election law, there is actually a two-tiered system for filing deadlines. For those who currently hold any public office, the filing deadline was February 15. For non-officeholders, the deadline was March 1. (Kerrey announced his campaign the day before, on February 29.)
Hassebrook launched his candidacy only after Kerrey had previously announced that he would not run, and because of the earlier deadline had to pull out of the race for his University of Nebraska Board of Regents seat, which is an elected position in this state where his seat was up this year. Last week, when Kerrey was expected to soon enter the race after all, Hassebrook posted a YouTube video in which he insisted that he was staying in.