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Sen. Ben Nelson Gets New GOP Challenger

Republican Pat Flynn has launched another run for U.S. Senate, jumping into what's expected to be a crowded race to unseat Democratic incumbent Ben Nelson.

Flynn, an investment adviser, is campaigning on a platform that should play well with tea party backers limiting the scope of government, fighting illegal immigration and pushing back against federal programs he considers socialist.

"Electing career politicians are failed policy, and we have the power to change this," Flynn, 51, says in a video posted on his campaign website.

Messages left Monday at Flynn's home and office weren't immediately returned.

A Monday e-mail from Flynn's campaign said he filed last year to run for Senate. He's the first candidate to officially enter the 2012 race.

Republican Gov. Dave Heineman was expected to be the front-runner to challenge Nelson, the lone Democrat in Nebraska's congressional delegation. But, Heineman announced two days after his re-election as governor that he wouldn't run.

Attorney General Jon Bruning has launched an exploratory committee for a Senate run and said he expects to be in the race. Don Stenberg, a former attorney general who won the Nov. 2 race to become state treasurer, is said to be considering a run as well.

Nelson's aides say he's raising campaign money but that his final decision on whether to seek re-election will be made "when it's time to focus on 2012." Nelson, a former governor, has held the seat since 2000.

Flynn ran for Senate in May 2008 but got only 22 percent of the votes in his primary contest with Mike Johanns, who went on to beat Democrat Scott Kleeb.

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