WASHINGTON – Former Democratic senator, governor and onetime presidential contender Bob Kerrey stumbled in his efforts to again represent Nebraska in the U.S. Senate.
Kerrey’s campaign had struggled to overcome Deb Fischer, the Sarah Palin-backed state legislator in the Cornhusker State that Republicans have long expected to flip. The Associated Press and CNN projected Fischer the winner.
The seat was opened by the retirement of conservative Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, who chose to step down rather than run in one of the most targeted races in this Republican stronghold.
Nebraskans cooled to Kerrey after he spent most of the past decade as head of the New School in New York City, a position he took after retiring from the Senate in 2000.
A Vietnam veteran who suffered a combat injury that left part of his right leg amputated, he became the state’s governor and senator. He also served on the Sept. 11 Commission.
Top Democrats coaxed Kerrey to run, and he confounded many by saying he had no interest, but then jumped into the race. His campaign was lackluster, although polls showed it narrowing in the final stretch.