Press Item ● Congress
For Immediate Release: 
April 16, 2004
Contact Info: 
Kevin O'Hanlon

Associated Press

U.S. House minority whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., stumped in Nebraska Friday for Democratic congressional candidates Matt Connealy and Nancy Thompson.

Hoyer appeared at a Thompson rally in Omaha and later attended a rally in Lincoln with Connealy.

He told those at the Lincoln rally outside the United Steel Workers Hall just what they wanted to hear -- that the Bush administration is not creating enough jobs and has done nothing to stop the outsourcing of jobs overseas.

"This president could be the first president since Herbert Hoover to end his term with a net loss of jobs," Hoyer said.

Even with the creation of 750,000 jobs since last August, the country still has 1.84 million fewer people on payrolls than when Bush took office in January 2001.

Hoyer made his comments just after a shift change at the nearby Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant.

Goodyear officials said earlier this week that they will close a warehouse and distribution center here, eliminating about 160 jobs by the end of the year.

"This president has failed on jobs," Hoyer said. "We are not creating new jobs for those people."

Connealy, a farmer and state senator from Decatur, is vying for the 1st District seat now held by Republican Rep. Doug Bereuter.

Bereuter is in his 13th term but is resigning to assume the presidency of the Asia Foundation, effective Sept. 1.

Also seeking the Democratic nomination are Fremont lawyer Janet Stewart, Schuyler businessman Phil Chase and Charlie Matulka, a Beatrice construction worker.

Earlier Friday, Stewart held a press conference to announce that she has been endorsed by the Planed Parenthood Federal PAC and Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska.

She criticized Connealy's stance opposing abortion.

"Certainly, this is not a one-issue race," she said. "But ... I think it's important for the voters to be made aware of our difference on this issue. It puts Sen. Connealy outside the mainstream of Democratic voters."

For his part, Connealy said, "I am a devout Catholic who opposes procedural abortion."

But he said he is not going to push for a constitutional amendment to repeal the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.

There are seven GOP candidates in 1st District race: Sen. Curt Bromm of Wahoo; former Lincoln City Council member Jeff Fortenberry; Andy Ringsmuth, a Lincoln photographer; Greg Ruehle of Garland, who is executive vice president of Nebraska Cattlemen; Lincoln businessman Robert Van Valkenburg, Greg Walburn of Lincoln, whose occupation was not immediately available and Daniel Manning of Lincoln, whose occupation also was not immediately available.

Green Party candidate Steven Larrick of Lincoln, whose occupation was not immediately available, also is running.

Thompson is vying for the Omaha-dominated 2nd District seat against incumbent Republican Lee Terry, who is seeking a fourth term.

Libertarian Jack Graziano of Omaha, an internet consultant who unsuccessfully challenged Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel in 2002, is also running for the 2nd District seat.