Deb Fischer defeats Bob Kerrey for Nebraska's U.S. Senate seat - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Deb Fischer defeats Bob Kerrey for Nebraska's U.S. Senate seat

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE (KTIV) -

Republican Deb Fischer has been elected to the U.S. Senate, completing a remarkable eight-year journey from little-known state legislator.

Fischer beat Democrat Bob Kerrey, 69, on Tuesday for the seat left open by retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson.

Nebraska voters previously had elected Kerrey as governor and to two U.S. Senate terms, but he only returned to the state in March after a 12-year absence.

After her hard-fought GOP primary race, Fischer, 61, was seen as the favorite for the seat because of the state's decidedly Republican base.

The rancher from Valentine entered the primary race against two more familiar -- and better financed -- candidates, state Attorney General Jon Bruning and Treasurer Don Stenberg.

Her win was credited to persistent campaigning and anti-Bruning ads funded by super PACs.

Former Nebraska Senator and Governor Bob Kerrey and republican state Senator Deb Fischer have been battling it out across the state to fill the seat being vacated by Democrat Senator  Ben Nelson.

Bob Kerrey was born in 1943 in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1966, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and went on to volunteer for the elite Navy SEAL teams. He was wounded in Vietnam in 1969 forced the amputation of his right leg below the knee. In 1982, Kerrey won the election as Governor of Nebraska. He retired after one term to return to private life, then won election to the U.S. Senate in 1988. He was re-elected with broad bipartisan support in 1994. In 1992, he ran for President of the United States in a campaign. In 2000, Kerrey decided to return once more to private life, accepting the Presidency of the New School University after completing his second term. Kerrey announced in March of 2012 he would run for Senator Ben Nelson's seat.

Deb Fischer was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. Fischer attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and graduated with a B.S. in Education. Fischer and her husband Bruce have been married for over 39 years and own a ranching operation near Valentine. She was elected to the Valentine Rural High School Board of Education, became President of the Nebraska Association of School Boards and served as a commissioner on the Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education. In 2004, Deb was elected to the Nebraska Unicameral to represent the 43rd Legislative District. She currently serves as Chair of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and is a member of the Revenue Committee and the Executive Board. On June 28, 2011, Deb Fischer announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate throughout communities all across Nebraska.

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