Gubernatorial candidates participate in forum in York | Recent news
YORK — Seven of the 12 candidates vying for Nebraska governorship took part in a forum on Sunday, held at the Holthus Convention Center, in front of about 200 attendees.
The event was organized by several organizations, including Moms for Liberty, Nebraskans for Founder’s Values, Convention of States – Nebraska, Nebraska Shooters and Sowers of Liberty.
The candidates present were Republican Michael Connely, Republican Lela McNinch, Republican Theresa Thibodeau, Republican Troy Wentz, Republican Charles Herbster, Republican Breland Ridenour and Libertarian Scott Zimmerman.
Democrat Carol Blood, Republican Donna Carpenter, Democrat Roy Harris, Republican Brett Lindstrom and Republican Jim Pillen were not in attendance. Everyone else was also invited, as it was an open forum for everyone, regardless of party affiliation.
The event was hosted by Susan Littlefield of Nebraska Rural Radio. The questions were asked by members of the host organisations.
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With candidates given time to introduce themselves and three minutes to answer questions, the Governors’ Forum itself lasted approximately 3.5 hours.
Prior to the Governors’ Forum, a film entitled “Mind Polluters” was shown, and there was a presentation entitled “Christian Heritage Constitutional Lecture”. Following the Governors Forum, there were forums for candidates for Nebraska Secretary of State and Nebraska Attorney General.
Connely told the crowd, “I’m going to introduce myself as the scary old Marine Corps sergeant, who isn’t politically correct.” He said his agenda was to “follow the constitution to the letter” and “if elected, on day one, I will tell the legislature that if you have a secret ballot (at the start of the legislative session) I’ll have you arrested.” Connely described his life experiences as working in many different fields and himself as a staunch Republican.
McNinch began his self-introduction “in the spirit of trust and transparency” by revealing that Connelly is his brother, “but we come to you as different people.” She explained how she grew up in York, graduated from York College, graduated from Kearney University, and then entered the correctional profession, working for several years at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women. She continued to work in corrections and eventually in the education sector.
Thibodeau, who sits in the Nebraska Legislature, spoke about her background in human resources, first for Werner Enterprises and then as a consultant for several companies. In 2014 she opened an early learning center and in 2017 was appointed to the legislature. She said that as a mother she is very concerned about “what is happening in our schools”, as well as the high taxes paid by small businesses.
Wentz described how he is a farmer, as well as a “jack of all trades.” He said he wanted “to change our property tax formula so that it’s a one-size-fits-all system rather than being based on fair market value as it is now.”
Herbster told the crowd, “America is in trouble because we’ve lost our moral compass.” He applauded the efforts of the host groups and said he would be “a Nebraska champion” and a worker to address their concerns.
Ridenour spoke about his experience working in technology. “I bring leadership experience and my principles are based on the word of God and the Constitution. I am also running because I am tired of seeing government officials who lack honesty and common sense and forget that it is the people who run this state and this country. Politics is about working with the people. I will continue to fight for your rights and freedoms.
“I’m the libertarian candidate,” Zimmerman told the group. “I’m just an ordinary guy. I was frustrated and thought I’d stop complaining and do something. I’m a full-time teacher and will continue to travel around Nebraska, listening to people. The governor has a responsibility to listen to people. The party is over, it’s time to get the job done.
The issue of critical race theory in Nebraska schools was raised with all applicants saying they were against such a curriculum.
McNinch said she found a better solution by “identifying the greatest of all, regardless of gender, race, etc. Let’s celebrate the greatness of each. We must accept our differences and lift each other up.
Thibodeau pointed out that Nebraska already has an approved curriculum on American Exceptionalism that is not being taught “and there have to be creative ways to make sure the divisive curriculum can’t happen in our schools. As governor, I plan to listen to everyone.
“A lot of people don’t like CRT and don’t want it in schools,” Wentz said.
“Going forward, whoever is elected governor, their job is to lead the state and fight the excesses of the federal government, because it comes like a tsunami,” Herbster replied. “In Nebraska, like every other state, we have to get creative and see if we even need a state school board. We must teach our children (about the constitution) or we will lose our country and our states. We need someone with a backbone of steel, someone like Donald J. Trump, who will fight like hell to protect our state, our rights, and our constitution. I will do it.”
“We have to work with our state school board and we can’t just strike that board off as much as I would like,” Ridenour said. “I would work with them with the goal of working with our local school boards. We must work together. America was founded on God and we need to bring prayer back into our classrooms and have the Pledge of Allegiance recited every day. We need leadership. We need to have a governor who speaks up and doesn’t apologize.
“CRT is a hot issue,” Zimmerman said. “We have all said how out of control our overreliance on our federal government is. Let parents decide what and when their children learn. We have observed the standardization of education. It’s time for parents in Nebraska to take control and we need to get politics out of education.
“We already have laws on the books that aren’t being enforced and we need the feds to get out of our schools,” Connelly said. “We need to bring these decisions down to the local level. As for CRT, the first time I saw it was in a Nazi propaganda magazine from the 1940s – they want to control us all.
Candidates were asked to answer simply yes or no as to whether or not they would accept money from the Nebraska Teachers Union for their campaigns. All said no.
Candidates were also asked about the many issues facing Nebraska’s agriculture industry, including President Biden’s 30×30 initiative, supply chain shortages, rising farm costs and property taxes. What is the number one problem facing producers in the state?
“As a farmer, the property tax is the worst thing,” Wentz said. “It’s my first thing. The high property tax is killing us.
“Property tax reform is one of my top three (priorities),” Herbster said. “This problem can be solved and we must encourage people to come here and stay here. Why the hell don’t we let students from neighboring states come here and take classes in the state? We have to do things to attract people here. I am very supportive of community colleges and teach trades to our children. China is going after our agriculture and food technology and we need to do something where China and our adversaries can’t buy another acre of land.
“Property tax is a big deal,” Ridenour said. “The 30×30 situation is ridiculous. The federal government wants to control people and their food sources. We know this is happening and it has to stop.
“As for 30×30, if I’m governor, I’ll shut it down and it’ll go away. This federal overrun is a problem. We need to put the power back in the hands of the states,” Zimmerman said. a problem. I also want to see a reduction in spending. Nebraska has some of the most beautiful land in this country. We have an incredible state and incredible people and we need to take control back.”
“The number one issue is property tax, so stop spending so much,” Connelly said. “And our heinous inheritance tax must go away immediately. I think we need it in our constitution so foreign investors can’t buy our farmland. And regarding 30×30, when I was in school, we were warned of the impending ice age. And I think any case of eminent domain has to be approved by the legislature.
“We need to use our land for agriculture, production and ranching,” McNinch said. “We have to use our water for irrigation. And we have to be careful not to accept 30×30. We need to encourage more farmers’ cooperatives in the production and processing of beef and we need to lift restrictions on certain crops such as hemp. »
“A big threat is the federal government’s overreach,” Thibodeau said. “30×30 threatens the backbone of our state. I was proud that Biden’s 30×30 resistance started here in Nebraska. Farmers and ranchers are responsible for a large percentage of our economy and then they are hit with big property tax bills – it is very important to focus on property tax.