Domina says voters will have a choice in Senate race


Democratic Senate nominee Dave Domina said Tuesday he will identify fundamental differences with Republican nominee Ben Sasse on issues vital to Nebraskans during the next five months.

Domina said he’ll offer voters an opportunity for an independent, rather than a partisan, voice to represent them in Washington.

Specifically, Domina said, he’ll point to differences on Social Security reform, tax policy, veterans benefits and whether there is a clear commitment not to shut down the federal government “as a political expression.”

And, Domina said, he expects to raise questions about Sasse’s ties to campaign funding from special interests that oppose a federal farm program.

“Deregulation with a reliance on huge wealth to do right by the people has never worked,” Domina said during a telephone interview.

“We need to return to a thoughtful, progressive tax system in which big corporations pay their fair share,” he said. And that, in turn, would “drop the tax burden on average Nebraskans,” he said.

“I am not willing to sacrifice or violate historic promises on Social Security,” he said.

Domina said he is fundamentally independent, having been registered as a nonpartisan voter for 17 years before he registered as a Democrat last autumn.

When people treat Republican and Democrat as “tribal words,” he said, “that begins to shut off all thought.

“I know Ben Sasse will get a portion of the vote that doesn’t care about any inquiry beyond one letter of the alphabet,” he said.

Although he recognizes some Nebraska voters will be looking for the R for Republican, Domina said, he will “approach people as a Nebraskan” ready to independently represent their interests.

“I have been perfectly at ease with people thinking there will not be a viable alternative until now,” Domina said. “Now, it’s time to decide who the next United States senator will be. The real race is on.”

Domina said he knows he “won’t have as much money as Sasse and his special interests have,” but he believes he’ll have “plenty of money” to conduct his campaign.

“I am pretty confident that is going to work out fine,” he said.

Domina will be a decided underdog in the Senate race leading up to the Nov. 4 general election, facing a Republican nominee who just won a four-man primary contest with almost 50 percent of the vote in a state with a big GOP voter registration bulge.

Two years ago, Republican Senate nominee Deb Fischer defeated Democratic nominee Bob Kerrey by 123,000 votes.

Domina said he believes Sasse would be willing to shut down the government, as some Republican senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas did in 2013 by blocking enactment of an appropriations bill needed to fund government operations.

“We need to debate these issues,” Domina said. “I’m willing to do that as often as it can be done.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or On Twitter @LJSDon.