Nebraska Republicans are taking quick aim at Bob Kerrey in the state’s U.S. Senate race. Their newest target: Kerrey’s quickly-filed voter registration at his sister’s address.
Last week, shortly before launching his campaign for the Senate seat he held for two terms until his retirement in 2000, Kerrey registered to vote in the state once again, at the home of his sister in Omaha. Kerrey had lived for the past 11 years in New York City, as head of the New School from 2001-2010. (Since then, Kerrey has re-registered at a different location. More on that below.)
But now, says state GOP executive director Jordan McGrain, the party will submit a letter Monday to the county election commissioner, saying that Kerrey never intended to live at his sister’s house. So will such a challenge be taken seriously as a legal matter, and get any kind of official attention?
“I do expect it to, and that’s the reason for the challenge,” said McGrain. “This is not a wild goose chase by the NEGOP. We’ve consulted legal experts in the field of election law, and we feel the statutes are very clear on it, and we would not be pursuing it otherwise.”
McGrain also alleged that Kerrey knew he had violated the rules, because shortly afterwards he filed another voter registration for another location, a guest house belonging to area real estate businessman Jay Noddle.
Kerrey’s campaign fired back, saying that the letter would not go anywhere.
“I would describe it as a political stunt, and one that’s kind of — to just cause difficulties or generate a news stories,” campaign manager Paul Johnson told TPM. “There’s no basis for it, but it’s probably good campaign tactics on either part. To me, it’s just an indication that they’re worried about Senator Kerrey running for his old seat, and they’re doing their tricks to mess things up.”
Johnson also explained the change of registration.
“His intent was, he registered at his sister’s house because that’s where he was going to stay temporarily. In the interim, he found a more permanent place, so at the time he filed for Senate he also changed his voter registration per the recommendations of the Douglas County deputy election commissioner.”
But in a follow-up interview, McGrain said that these issues still matter, in light of Kerrey having stayed at the Hilton in Omaha.
“Their contention that he ever intended to stay or be domiciled at his sister’s house was false,” said McGrain. “And our expectation is that there should be some sort of legal process about him completing what essentially amounted to a false voter registration application.”
(Via the local ABC affiliate.)