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GOP Governor Backed by Teachers' Union Wins in Nebraska

Republican Gov. Dave Heineman has won a second term as Nebraska's governor, sending Democrat Mike Meister down to defeat.

Heineman is a relatively unusual GOP candidate from at least one standpoint: He won the backing of the state's major teacher union, the Nebraska State Education Association. Teachers' unions, of course, tend to strongly favor Democrats, but Heineman had won the organization's trust, partly by backing pay increases and retirement benefits for educators.

The Republican also drew some flak earlier this year when he took the unusual step of writing to education organizations in the state, asking them to support a repeal of the new federal health care law. Heineman said the law would heap new costs on Nebraska, which would lead to reductions in the amount of money the state spends on schools. Critics accused the governor of strong-arming those groups to support a partisan agenda.

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