Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey filed to run for Senate today, boosting Senate Democrats in a state considered a lost cause for the party ever since Sen. Ben Nelson (D) announced his retirement there.
Kerrey initial ruled out a bid earlier this month. But this week, Kerrey indicated he was reconsidering his choice just a few days before the filing deadline.
"Doing things the conventional way has never been my strong suit," Kerrey said in a statement. "This afternoon, I will file to become a candidate for the United States Senate in Nebraska. I came to realize that my previous decision was the easy one, not the right one. My commitment to serve Nebraska and America, and to be part of the debate about the challenges we face was too strong to dismiss."
Kerrey's campaign immediately makes the race more competitive for Democrats, but he'll still have an uphill climb in the very conservative state. Republicans have already attacked the former Nebraska governor and two-term Senator for moving to New York to run a liberal college after he left the Senate in 2001.
"Our future requires a commitment to fiscal discipline and restoring America as the land of opportunity," reads a message on Kerrey's website. "Party-first, me-first, and politics-first created the mess. A commitment to country first will get us out. I hope you will join me on this mission."