Rancher, Restaurant Founder Makes Independent Bid for Senate

OMAHA (AP) - A central Nebraska cattle rancher and restaurant owner is making an independent bid for the state's open U.S. Senate seat.  Jim Jenkins will run as a nonpartisan candidate in an effort to replace Republican Sen. Mike Johanns, who is not seeking a second term in 2014. Jenkins on Wednesday criticized partisan gridlock in Washington and said voters should demand that Congress "focus less on party power and more on the good of our country." Jenkins runs a family ranch near Callaway and is a former chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. He also founded the Whiskey Creek Steakhouse restaurant chain and co-founded Skeeter Barnes restaurants. Jenkins had been a longtime Democrat before changing his voter registration to nonpartisan in early 2012.