Could This Corn Belt State Have Its First Independent Governor?

Nebraska State Senator Bob Krist made two big moves Wednesday: (1) He switched his party affiliation from Republican to independent, and (2) he announced he is running for governor.

Krist, a retired Air Force veteran, has served in Nebraska’s unique unicameral legislature for 10 years. Yet during that time, he says the once nonpartisan chamber has succumbed to the same partisan-driven politics in Washington.

“Voters are fed up with partisan politics that divide us rather than unite us. Partisan bickering in Washington has spread to our nonpartisan Nebraska Legislature, and our current Governor has worsened the situation by personally bankrolling challengers to senators who don’t vote right down the line with him,” Krist said.

According to a press release sent out Wednesday, Krist is running for governor because “Nebraskans want a strong, independent leader who will lower taxes and make state government more efficient.”

His priority, according to the press release, is to “restore a nonpartisan attitude to government” and identify nonpartisan solutions to the state’s property taxes, education funding, prison system, and government efficiency, and other issues.

“We are committed to making our State Government more efficient and hardworking for all Nebraskans,” said Krist.

“And we must do so without harming the most fragile members of our society. We must look internally for efficiencies and better use of personnel, reduce waste, and identify and stop fraud and abuse. We must commit ourselves to fixing and rebuilding those state agencies who are not effectively responding to the needs of our citizens.” – Nebraska State Sen. Bob Krist

Krist officially changed his party registration from Republican to independent on Wednesday afternoon.

Next week, Krist will announce a statewide listening tour to hear from state constituents about about their biggest priorities and concerns, and assess “how people in Nebraska judge the administration of Gov. Pete Ricketts in his third year as governor.”

Photo Source: Lincoln Journal Star