If elected, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Deb Fischer has promised she'll work with Democrats. But she was at the helm of an all-Republican group of lawmakers Monday.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Fischer, a conservative state senator from Valentine, announced the endorsements of 75 current and former state lawmakers. She is running against Democrat Bob Kerrey for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson.
Both Fischer and Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor who is looking to reclaim his old Senate seat, have pitched themselves as the best candidate to reach across party lines. In brief remarks, Fischer said the coalition represented a broad cross-section of the state.
Asked whether her campaign had found any Democrats to join her at the news conference, Fischer replied: "I have a great group of senators here behind me, and I'm very excited that they're here."
"So that's a no?" one reporter asked.
"I have a great group of senators," Fischer repeated, "and we have a long list."
Kerrey has vowed on the campaign trail to challenge his own party's leadership, saying he would cause just as much trouble for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as he would for GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell.
Fischer pointed to measures she designated as "priority bills" during her time in the Legislature, including proposals introduced by two Democrats: former Omaha state Sen. Pat Bourne and current Sen. Annette Dubas, of Fullerton.
"I have a proven record of working with Democrats, prioritizing their bills and getting those bill passed," Fischer said. "I say if you look at Mr. Kerrey's record, where he voted with his party close to 90 percent of the time - that would tell a different story."
Kerrey spokesman Chris Triebsch said the absence of Democratic endorsements showed Fischer would take a partisan approach if voters sent her to Washington.
"Senator Kerrey would work with both Republicans and Democrats to shake up Washington," Triebsch said. "The contrast is clear. It's more of the same from Senator Fischer."
Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood, a Republican who was elected the same year as Fischer, said his colleague served the state "honorably, honestly and very effectively," and built coalitions with Democrats.
"We know her values, we know her convictions, and we know her unrivaled work ethic," Flood said. "Deb Fischer is one of the most honest and ethical people I know."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)