Domina opens campaign office in Norfolk

“I think we have a real chance.”

With about seven weeks until the November general election, that’s how Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Dave Domina assesses the race for voter support.

The Coleridge native and former Norfolk attorney was back in Norfolk on Tuesday to open a campaign office in the Centrum to further his efforts to win the votes of Norfolkans and area residents.

About 30 people — including some Republicans — turned out for the opening of the office. Jean and Lonn Atwood are serving as local campaign coordinators.

If Domina proves successful, it will be despite having a decided disadvantage in terms of the number of registered Democratic voters as compared to Republican voters, as well as some unusual campaign strategies.

In an interview with the Daily News, Domina said that he has yet to give a rehearsed political speech to a group of Nebraskans.

“I haven’t yet played the actor. I don’t have a stump speech,” he said.

Rather, Domina said he often waits to decide what to talk about until after he’s had a chance to briefly converse with those in attendance at a particular event or gathering.

He also has rejected the frequent tactic of employing Washington, D.C.-based campaign and political consultants.

And he focuses on issues, clearly explaining his stance even if it may be unpopular with some listening to him speak. Recently, for example, he spoke to a group of physicians and told them how he was in full support of the federal Affordable Care Act, even though he knew many in the audience might like to see it repealed.

But after fully explaining his position, Domina said, he thinks he probably won some votes.

“I say what I want to say. And lots of people have said to me, ‘I like the way you think,’ ” Domina said.

Domina said he believes recent debates with Republican nominee Ben Sasse and other candidates have energized his supporters and the overall campaign. The candidates are running to succeed Sen. Mike Johanns, who isn’t seeking re-election.

“I don’t want or need a title. I’ve already had such a blessed life,” he said. “I’m running in this race simply because I think it’s important for Nebraska.”