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Rival to Nebraska’s governor becomes Democrat to bolster chances

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A state senator who entered Nebraska’s gubernatorial race as an independent said on Tuesday he had joined the Democratic Party to bolster his bid to unseat Republican Governor Pete Ricketts.

“I have 90 days before the May 15 Primary Election to introduce myself to Nebraskans registered in the Democratic Party and to earn their trust,” said Bob Krist of Omaha, who changed his voter registration on Monday.

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Ricketts, whose family founded TD Ameritrade and owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team, won his first term in office in 2014, beating Democrat Chuck Hassebrook 57 percent to 39 percent.

Krist, a pilot and Air Force veteran, was appointed to Nebraska’s non-partisan single-chamber legislature in 2009 by then-Republican Governor Dave Heineman. Krist was elected to the seat as a Republican in 2010 and 2014 but announced in July he would run for governor as an independent.

However, a state law requiring the signatures of 10 percent of Nebraska’s 1.2 million registered voters and the lack of high-profile candidates among the Democrats led Krist to make the switch.

While Nebraska traditionally votes Republican, Ricketts could be at risk, said Randall Adkins, a political science professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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“If anyone is going to unseat an incumbent, this is probably the year to do it,” Adkins said. “Krist is considered a credible candidate. He’s a veteran and a two-term incumbent with a conservative voting record in a red state. However, he is running against a well-financed incumbent governor.”

Nearly 49 percent of Nebraska registered voters are Republican, compared with about 31 percent Democrat and about 21 percent independent.

Nebraska has not elected a Democrat as governor since 1994, and a Democrat has not won a presidential nomination in the state since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The highest-ranking Democratic office holder in the state is Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler.

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Rickett’s campaign spokesman Matthew Trail pointed to polling done by research firm Morning Consult from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 that showed Ricketts with a 54 percent approval rating among voters.

“Throughout the odyssey of Senator Krist’s candidacy, Governor Ricketts’ campaign has remained focused on sharing the governor’s vision for a growing, stronger, more prosperous Nebraska,” Trail said.

(Reporting by Kevin O’Hanlon; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump is ‘a bottomless pit of emotional need’ with a ‘desperate’ desire for friends: NYT’s Charles Blow

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New York Times editorial writer Charles Blow called out the president in his Sunday editorial for always associating the country with himself.

The byproduct of narcissism is that everything surrounds the narcissist. Such is the case with President Donald Trump's latest series of tweets talking about "My Stock Market" and quoting a fan referring to him as the second coming of Christ.

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‘Disconnected from reality’: NY Times editor ridicules Trump for being a ‘farce’ of a president

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New York Times editorial board member, Michelle Cottle, released a scathing op-ed highlighting the president's tendency to give oxygen to his adversaries that no one else would be paying attention to otherwise.

In a piece relating the White House to a "three-ring" circus, Cottle called the president a "farce" for his new war with Anthony Scaramucci.

As the president tweeted, no one had heard of Scaramucci until Trump hired him and former chief-of-staff John Kelly fired him after only 11 days.

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Trump goes off on Twitter rant about ‘My Stock Market’ at nearly 2 a.m. in France

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President Donald Trump has an early morning meeting Monday with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. He also has a full day of meeting with the G-7, but that wasn't his focus in the early morning hours.

"My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election (sic), November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!" Trump tweeted Sunday night in the U.S., which was nearly 2 a.m. in France where the president is staying during the G-7 summit.

My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election, November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!

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