Home  >  Nebraska  >  Pro-life Democrat to run for NE governor; Lathrop out

Pro-life Democrat to run for NE governor; Lathrop out

By   /   August 8, 2013  /   28 Comments

Bethany Schmidt/Nebraska Watchdog

CANDIDATE: Fullerton Sen. plans to run for governor next year.


By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

Updated 2:37 p.m. Friday

LINCOLN – Fullerton Sen. Annette Dubas is jumping into the governor’s race. The Democratic state senator plans to formally announce her plans late next month.

Her colleague in the Legislature, Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop, has been engaged in a statewide tour while mulling a run, but announced today on Twitter that he has decided not to run for governor.

“After much thought, I have decided against a run for governor,” he wrote. “I look forward to continuing to serve (legislative district) 12 in the 2014 legislative session.”

The only other Democrat in the race so far is former University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook of Lyons. Dubas’s entry into the race sets up a stark contrast between the two Democrats on at least one hot-button issue: abortion. Dubas is pro-life, Hassebrook is pro-choice.

Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop

Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop

Dubas is one of just a handful of Democratic lawmakers who were endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life. In fact, on her Right to Life questionnaire in 2006 and 2010, she said she only supported abortion to prevent the death of the mother; she opposed abortion even in cases of forcible rape or incest that was reported to law enforcement.

In 2010, she said the Right to Life endorsement was vital in her pro-life district, and said her record on abortion was strong. In 2011 she introduced a bill that would prohibit health exchanges from covering abortion.

Hassebrook, meanwhile, was not endorsed by the pro-life group in 2006, but instead by Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska. He’s also known for refusing to join other NU regents who tried to restrict stem cell research. He said today he supports current law on abortion in Nebraska.

“Certainly we have a different view on this issue,” he told Nebraska Watchdog.

But he said the primary campaign should focus on “issues that matter most to Nebraskans” which he identified as having a cost-effective government that strengthens our education system and invests in jobs and opportunities.

“I welcome Annette to the race,” he said. “She’s been a friend. She is a friend. I look forward to a good healthy debate about how we move the state forward.”

Dubas was born in Omaha but graduated from Fullerton High School and married her high school sweetheart, Ronald, and went on to have four children and farm and ranch together. She’s completing her second term as a senator, meaning she will be term-limited out of that office next year. This year she was elected chairwoman of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee.

She’s a former District 2 Farmers Union president, CCD (a Catholic education program) teacher, Eucharist minister and lector. She is a former member of the Fullerton Public School Board and Nance County Planning and Zoning board.

She played a significant role in the debate over the Keystone XL oil pipeline siting process through Nebraska. This year she introduced a bill that would require companies to have their permits before threatening to condemn land. She said when faced with the prospect of having to allow an oil pipeline to be built on their land through condemnation, landowners have a “strong, almost visceral” reaction.

On the Republican side, Fremont Sen. Charlie Janssen, Holdrege Sen. Tom Carlson and Falls City businessman Charles Herbster are running for governor, while Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts is considering a run.

Contact Deena Winter at [email protected].

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here.


Deena formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    Bravo Annette! This Republican will certainly vote for you over any of the collection of Neo-Facist Koch puppets currently announced on the Republican side.

  • gerardharbison

    Given she’ll likely to lose to Hassebrook in the primary, a Republican would likely never get to vote for her.

    On the other hand, a ‘Republican’ might.

  • gerardharbison

    The downside of term-limits; a glut of soon-to-be-unemployed senators who are not yet tired of interfering in other people’s lives.

  • Biff Pocoroba

    The upside? There’s an opening in the Legislature near you, Gerard. A smart guy like you ought to whip them into shape in no time at all. Instead of standing on the outside and lobbing verbal grenades, let’s see what you have to offer.

  • gerardharbison

    Bill apparently thinks citizens should not criticize their masters in the legislature.

  • GO

    Neo-Facist Koch puppets? Goebbels would be proud of your twisted propaganda. How is it that people that stand for individual and economic freedom get labeled neo-facists – by collectivists, no less?

  • billy C

    what a joke, can’t break the political habit with no past accomplishments except spending, like most other senators,chances nil

  • Dave

    She seems like a good common sence person, of course any Democrat or independant, and a very fer republicans would be better than the last two mouth breathers we had in there.

  • Jon and Bonnie Kruse

    Annette Dubas has our votes. We are landowners and responsible citizens. We are Republicans.
    Jon and Bonnie Kruse

  • spongeO

    This woman has a war on women!!! AM I RIGHT?!?

  • gerardharbison

    If Ben Nelson didn’t close the book on ‘pro-life Democrat’ in this state, I don’t know what will.

  • gerardharbison

    I’m sorry, we didn’t have highways before the gummint started building them?

  • Ivy Marie Harper

    Prediction: Senator Dubas will be Nebraska’s first Democratic Governor.

    This is awesome news. I’ve said for years that science and technology itself has become the greatest ally of the pro-Life movement.

    Rebekah Davis of Alliance and I – born + raised in Grand Island not Baton Rouge, Louisiana – both ran in 2010 as pro-Life Democrats and we did extremely well with Democrats, Republicans + Independents alike despite a veritable “ban” by the bad boys in the media (aka Kotok + Reilly) and OWH pro-choice political “non-coverage,” partisan journalist, Robynn Tysver, who once interviewed Rebekah for an entire hour but I guess after learning the Democratic candidate/wunderkind chaplain was “pro-life,” Ms. Tysver appeared to bristle, snap her notebook shut brusquely, and nary a sentence was ever printed in the ostensible “Nebraska Paper of Record” about the finest Democrat ever to run for office.

    Moi: I also ran as an across-the-board NU reformer which totally resonated with thoughtful, intelligent voters. When the “early voting” Dem + GOP “tabulators” learned that I was surging in the 1st CD on a shoestring campaign of $22,000 (twenty two thousand) dollars, they freaked. They knew that beating 2nd CD Dem candidate Tom White – who raised more than a million dollars – would provide a robust springboard for a second “Ivy in the House” race in 2012. NU must have said, “Not gonna happen.”

    So…with just three weeks to go before the 2010 election, NU sicced a sitting Chancellor to slander and libel me with the help of now-LIBA head but then Drive Time Lincoln (DTL) self-described “talk show host,” Coby-the-shark-attack Mach.

    Our 2010 odyssey will be detailed in a full-page ad/report/e-book I’m working on called, “From Public Servants to Public Serpents: NU’s Land Grant Fall from Grace.” A highly respected national education org. plans to re-publish the recap in print form when my treatise is finished.

    Until then, please visit: [email protected] or i*harper*se

  • Mike

    Neo-facist Koch puppets vs. Communist Soro puppets — either way, America loses with (R) OR (D).

  • Mike

    I’m sure Ben Nelson and the late J.J. Exon, among others, would be happy to ask you about that “first Democrat governor” moniker. But don’t let the facts get in the way…LMAO

  • Mike

    Wow — it’s 15 MONTHS before the election and the Democrats already have TWO “candidates” for governor. Usually it’s the last guy in the door at the state party convention six months before November who gets “nominated” and then gets bludgeoned to death by the GOP’s flavor of the day. Now if the Democrats could only get a candidate with a clue and a little charisma, they might have a shot at this one.

  • Ivy Marie Harper

    Sorry, I meant female Democratic Governor.

  • Dave

    Fullerton Sen. Annette Dubas will not get my vote because of her need to impose her personal beliefs on young girls and women who have been impregnated by rape, or incest

    I do not like abortion, but I like the right to life crowd even less. Let a woman make up her own mind! It is fine if you want to subject yourselves to those beliefs, but keep them to yourself!

  • gerardharbison

    Prediction: Senator Dubas will be Nebraska’s first Democratic Governor.


  • Jazzee

    according to the lefties if she is a leftie then yes she is participating in the war on women

  • Jazzee

    women DO AND CAN make up their own damn minds
    abortion is legal go for it kill all the babies you all want
    just don’t shove it down my throat okay dear
    get over it no one is stopping the murders but I do have a question: why don’t these ‘women’ go and get FREE birth control like they can and have been able to get for years and then there won’t be such a need for abortion/murder problem solved eh?

  • Jazzee


  • Dave

    The Koch bros. belief is, “If you don’t go along with us, your against us”, oh, wait. That was your hero Geo. Bush.
    The Koch bros. is “F**k with me and your toast”. You better become a little more extreem, buddy.

  • Dave

    How many unwanted children have you adopted?
    How many times have you been out holding your signs to make yourself feel good?

  • Libertarian01a

    Maybe we should abolish all laws against murder and quit imposing such moral beliefs on a poor hapless society. Maybe we could have different hunting seasons on humans who add nothing to society but only take from it. We could start with uncivilized barbarians that believe in abotion .

  • G.

    I will not be voting for Dubas, she’s No Choice.

  • ImJustAGuy

    There’s NO such thing as a pro-life Democrat. Just ask Bart Stupak. When the pressure is on, the so-called pro-life Democrat will side with the abortion advocates every time!

  • ImJustAGuy

    So you rather kill the babies off rather than they enter the foster system?