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HERE’S YOUR RUNDOWN
Happy National ‘Twilight Zone’ Day
Reed Moore has traveled through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind.
Today’s news: Jim Pillen wins the Republican gubernatorial primary. Convicted felon and former Congressman Jeff Fortenberry gets a whopping 12% in his primary, despite resigning before early voting began. Mortgage and utility assistance is still available for those who have been impacted by COVID-19.
REED MOORE’S FEATURED STORY
Big Dreams, Tiny Desks: Bach Mai
Self-described as indie pop punk, Bach Mai draws on influence from a wide range of artists: My Chemical Romance, Blink-182, Bon Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus.
By Virginia Kathryn Gallner. Published in The Reader.
REED MOORE >>
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A congressional report finds vaccine manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions, which received a contract under the Trump administration, was forced to get rid of up to 400 million doses of the key ingredient in the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines. The quality control investigation revealed that number to be more than five times what Emergent reported to the FDA. The report says the company sought to mislead government inspectors, a claim Emergent denies.
To see an overview of COVID cases in the U.S., click here.
By the numbers:
- On the Local Campaign Trail: In the race for Douglas County sheriff, appointed incumbent Thomas Wheeler chose to not run for a full term. Former OPD Deputy Chief Greg Gonzalez appears to have eked out a narrow win in the Democratic primary over Douglas County’s chief deputy, Wayne Hudson. In the Republican primary, OPD Sgt. Aaron Hanson handily defeats retired OPD Lt. George Merithew. (No reports have surfaced of Merithew speeding to his election night party … yet.)
- The race for Douglas County clerk of District Court is also an open one, with incumbent John Friend (R) retiring after three terms. Nebraska Public Service Commissioner Crystal Rhoades handily defeats Deputy Clerk of District Court Pam Cardenas. She faces the only Republican to file, Tom Flynn, this fall.
- No primaries were held for Douglas County attorney because only one candidate filed in each party: Democrat Dave Pantos and Republican incumbent Don Kleine. This will be Kleine’s fifth re-election campaign, but his first as a Republican.
- If you still are in need of mortgage or utility relief due to COVID-19, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development has some funds still available. Click here to learn more about how to apply.
- On the Statewide Campaign Trail: Jim Pillen wins the Republican nomination for governor, defeating both Charles Herbster and Brett Lindstrom. In the Republican primary for secretary of state, incumbent Bob Evnen hangs on against two opponents who believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Pillen is the only Republican running statewide who will face a Democratic opponent this fall, state Sen. Carol Blood; no Democrat has been elected governor since Ben Nelson won a second term in 1994.
- On the Legislative Campaign Trail: 24 of the Nebraska Legislature’s 49 seats are up for election this fall, and we now know who will advance to November’s general elections. By Reed Moore’s estimation, there are at least eight seats that are expected to be competitive contests. Given the political environment, Republicans have a good chance at reclaiming a filibuster-proof majority in the Legislature.
- On the Congressional Campaign Trail: Despite concern he could win the primary for Nebraska’s 1st District, former U.S. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry earns only 12% of the vote. State Sen. Mike Flood easily wins the Republican nomination. He’ll face fellow state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks in a June special election to finish Fortenberry’s current term, and then again in November for a full two years. In the 2nd district, state Sen. Tony Vargas wins his Democratic primary with little fanfare against mental health professional Alisha Shelton. He’ll face incumbent Rep. Don Bacon in what is expected to be a hotly contested race.
REED MOORE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The Omaha City Council discusses a redevelopment agreement for Mutual of Omaha’s new downtown headquarters, with opponents raising concerns over transparency. The vote will be held at next week’s meeting.
Read local government reporter Anton Johnson’s full article for The Reader here.
FACT OF THE DAY
From Harper’s Index
Minimum number of hamsters executed by the
Hong Kong government because of COVID-19 exposure: 2,229
Source: Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department
Comic by Koterba. Support him on Patreon.