Six state senators emerged from this year's candidate filing deadline with no opponents in the May 15 primary election.

Among the lucky half-dozen were Lincoln Sens. Patty Pansing Brooks and Adam Morfeld.

Also on the unopposed list: Sens. Curt Friesen of Henderson, John Stinner of Gering, Matt Williams of Gothenburg and Mike Groene of North Platte.

Sen. Mark Kolterman of Seward also had been unopposed until late in the day, when Stephanie Nantkes, a teacher and former member of the Seward Public Schools Board of Education, entered the race.

"I do want to make it clear that I am not running against the incumbent, Mark Kolterman," she said.  

"In fact, I consider Mark a friend. We served on the Seward School Board together.

"However, I believe we need a candid and meaningful discussion of the issues facing our community and I look forward to having that open, honest and respectful dialogue with Mark and our entire community," Nantkes said. 

The unopposed state senators emerged from Thursday's filing deadline essentially locked in for a second and final four-year term in the Legislature. 

Eleven candidates filed for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Sen. Deb Fischer, including four Republicans who will challenge her in the primary election. Fischer is seeking re-election to a second six-year term. 

And 11 candidates filed for Nebraska's three House seats.

Republican Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, Don Bacon and Adrian Smith are seeking re-election to two-year terms. 

The five-candidate gubernatorial field includes Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, one GOP challenger and three Democrats. Ricketts will be seeking re-election to a four-year term. 

Lancaster County voters will have one contested race on the May primary ballot — the county treasurer’s race.

The other 10 county offices have no more than one candidate for each of the two parties, and those offices will not appear on the ballot. Those candidates will be considered the nominee for their party and automatically move on to the fall general election.

Three Republicans and two Democrats have filed for the county treasurer’s race, where the incumbent faces five felony charges related to selling used vehicles.

Republican candidates are incumbent Andy Stebbing; and challengers Allen Simpson, retired commander of the finance office for the Nebraska Air National Guard, and Matt Schulte, who serves on the Lincoln Board of Education.

The Democratic candidates are Andrew Stock, former Douglas County public defender and community college political science teacher; and Rachel Garver, who works in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Office of Student Accounts.

The challengers have made the issue of trust a major campaign theme, alluding to Stebbing’s criminal charges.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.


Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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