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2006 Nebraska's 3rd congressional district election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2006 Nebraska's 3rd congressional district election

← 2004 November 7, 2006 2008 →
Adrian Smith, official 110th Congress photo portrait.jpg
Scott Kleeb portrait (cropped).jpg
Nominee Adrian Smith Scott Kleeb
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 113,687 93,046
Percentage 55.0% 45.0%

U.S. Representative before election

Tom Osborne

Elected U.S. Representative

Adrian Smith

Nebraska's 3rd congressional district covers most of western Nebraska, comprises 69 counties and is considered to be a traditional Republican stronghold. In the 2006 midterm elections, Republican incumbent Tom Osborne did not seek re-election, instead making a failed bid for the Nebraska gubernatorial nomination. In his stead, Republican Adrian Smith, who won the Republican primary with 39% of the vote in a field of five candidates, defeated Democratic nominee Scott Kleeb, 55% to 45%.[1] This ten-point margin was the closest election in the 3rd District since 1990, prompting both candidates to receive a variety of endorsements during the race. This was the closest a Democrat had come to winning the district in 18 years; in 1990, Republican Bill Barrett won 51% to 49% over fellow unicameral state senator Sandra K. Scofield.[2] [3][4]

Approximately one-third of the funding of Smith's campaign came from members of the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative group that supports tax cuts, limited government, and school choice, and advocates eliminating all agricultural subsidies and the elimination of the US Department of Agriculture.[5]

For a time, Smith was presumed to be a prohibitive favorite in this overwhelmingly Republican district. The 3rd is one of the most Republican districts in the nation; presidential and statewide candidates routinely win it with 70 percent or more of the vote. The 3rd is extremely difficult to campaign in and has few unifying influences. It covers nearly 65,000 square miles (170,000 km2), two time zones, and 68.5 of Nebraska’s 93 counties (one of which, Cherry County, is larger than the entire state of Connecticut). Both Smith and Kleeb raised and spent more money than any prior third district race.

As the race become more competitive than expected, it received late national attention from the House campaign committees.[6] [7] In a very strong year for Democrats, the 2006 3rd District congressional race drew last-minute attention from the national House campaign committees [8] [9] as well as a campaign visit from President George W. Bush on Smith's behalf two days before the election.[10] President George W. Bush also made an appearance in the district two days before the election to campaign for Smith—a sign that the national party was very concerned about its chances in what had long been presumed to be a very safe Republican seat.[10]

Toward the end of the campaign, controversy surrounded a series of automated telephone calls to voters. These calls used an unauthorized recording of Kleeb's voice which allegedly distorted his views, and were often made in the middle of the night. Investigations were made to determine the source of these calls, which The New York Times claimed "sabotaged" Kleeb's campaign. After thorough investigation by the Nebraska Public Service Commission the complaint file was closed with no wrongdoing found by the Kleeb vendor of robocalls, political candidates or their committees. [11]

Since the 2006 election, Adrian Smith has won re-election in the 3rd District with at least 70% of the vote each time. He was elected with 77% of the vote in 2008, 70% in 2010, and 74% in 2012.[12]


  1. ^ Hendee, David; Paul Hammel (November 9, 2006). "Another Smith going to Washington". Omaha World-Herald. Archived from the original on April 22, 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  2. ^ "Kleeb for 3rd district". Omaha World-Herald. October 15, 2006. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. Retrieved 2006-10-16.
  3. ^ "Kleeb for Congress in 3rd District". Lincoln Journal Star. November 5, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-05.
  4. ^ Reutter, Harold (October 31, 2006). "State senators endorse Smith at press conference". Grand Island Independent. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2006-10-31.
  5. ^ O'Hanlon, Kevin (October 16, 2006). "Moul gives Fortenberry run in fundraising". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  6. ^ Walton, Don (October 27, 2006). "GOP eye on 3rd District House race". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  7. ^ Levinson, Nathan (November 3, 2006). "Neb. Roundup: Bush Visit Points to GOP Vulnerability". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  8. ^ Walton, Don (October 27, 2006). "GOP eye on 3rd District House race". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  9. ^ Levinson, Nathan (November 3, 2006). "Neb. Roundup: Bush Visit Points to GOP Vulnerability". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  10. ^ a b Thompson, Jake; Tysver, Robynn (November 5, 2006). "Bush rallies GOP faithful in Grand Island". Omaha World-Herald. Archived from the original on April 22, 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  11. ^ Saulny, Susan (April 25, 2007). "Limits Sought on 'Robocalls' in Campaigns". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
  12. ^ "Our Campaigns - NE - District 03 Race - Nov 06, 2012". Retrieved December 2, 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 October 2020, at 03:41
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