Senate candidate Todd Watson qualifies for November ballot

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Senate candidate Todd Watson qualifies for November ballot

By Marjorie Sturgeon. CREATED Jul 28, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) - A fourth person has qualified for the ballot in the race for Senate in Nebraska.

The Secretary of State’s Office announced Monday that Independent candidate Todd Watson gathered more than 4,000 signatures, allowing his name to be included come Election Day in November.

Watson reported 5,380 signatures, well above the requirement of 4,000 signatures.

He also had to have at least 750 collected in each of the state’s three congressional districts.

Watson is the second candidate to qualify by petition. Jim Jenkins will also be listed as ‘by petition’ on the ballot.

The other two candidates, Republican Ben Sasse and Democrat David Domina, were chosen in the primary election.

All four are attempting to win the seat that will be vacated by Senator Mike Johanns. In Feb. 2013, Johanns announced he would not be seeking re-election, instead, he would retire.

Political experts say in a big race like the US Senate, Independents are often on the ballots.

"As these individuals get more frustrated with what's going on in Washington, then you're going to see more of these independents campaigns come about." said Joe Jordan with Nebraska Watchdog.

Jordan says while these candidates are registered as Independents, the candidate tend to lean more right.

"The Independents in this state lean republican to begin with, they're either very conservative or they've got libertarian streak, which tends to be more conservative than democrat."

Jordan say he does not expect the Independent candidates to make a big dent in this race.

"Third party campaigns and third party candidates in Nebraska, if they get about 3 or 4 percent, they're actually doing pretty good." adds Jordan.

In a statement to KMTV Action 3 News, Jim Jenkins says he welcomes Watson into the race and his willingness to stand up for his beliefs. We reached out to the Sasse and Domina campaigns, we did not hear back.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4.

Marjorie Sturgeon

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