Two young men are vying to succeed U.S. Rep. Tom Osborne in Nebraska's 3rd Congressional District. Given the unseasoned nature of both candidates, there is a degree of uncertainty about how either would do in Congress.
One candidate, Scott Kleeb, stands out as the better choice. The reason: his fundamental strength - a strength of intellect, a strength of eloquence, a strength of stability....
Such strength could serve Kleeb well in Congress. Such strength provides him the potential to be a lawmaker respected for making a constructive difference.
As many 3rd District voters know, Kleeb has an unusual background as a cowboy/scholar - a real-life ranch hand who also earned stellar academic credentials, above all for his study of how the American West and cattle country in particular are connected to the world economy....
Among his themes: Use effective arguments and outreach so that Washington leaders better recognize the importance of rural America's needs and opportunities. Push harder for rural development. Get even more creative about ag-sector promotion. Understand Nebraska's enduring connections to the global marketplace and aggressively work to turn those connections into profitable opportunities for individuals and communities.
Those themes that Kleeb is pushing in Nebraska are also resonating in races across the West. Where the Republicans have turned to candidates like Sali in Idaho, or Smith in Nebraska who are supported by the radical, government-killing Club for Growth, the Democrats have emerged with strong candidates who understand the role for good that the federal government can play for rural families. That the vast transformation that American agriculture is going to have undertake to develop sustainably, to reduce energy costs, to become a partner in energy production, and for the family farm to survive in the next decades will require the federal government. Rural families understand this. Like Kleeb describes in his bio, their parents and grandparents have told them how dramatically their lives changed with things like rural electrification. My own father has talked about it. While my grandparents were always Democrats, President Roosevelt made them lifelong, committed, partisan Dems when he brought electricity to Corral, Idaho.
Candidates like Kleeb, Tester, Goldmark, Trauner, and Grant recognize that their neighbors are generally smart enough to know when they need the government, and when they don't. They've known when to listen to what their neighbors are saying instead of listening to what a DC consultant is telling them. They've run effective enough grassroots and netroots campaigns to break into the party establishment on their terms. That's why Goldmark, Grant, and Kleeb have all been tapped as emerging races with the DCCC.
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Update by kos: Kleeb's opponent, Adrian Smith, has raised nearly 40 percent of his campaign funds from the Club for Growth. The Club is virulently anti-farm subsidies. And whether you agree with that position or not, fact is, this is an agricultural district.