Nebraska’s 2022 primary election: Republican voter guide

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Here is a voter guide for the Republican ballot in the Nebraska primary election on May 10.

For representative in Congress, District 1: 

Jeff Fortenberry

  • Fortenberry will remain on the 2022 primary ballot despite resigning and being convicted of lying to federal authorities about an illegal campaign contribution.
  • A special election has been set for Tuesday, June 28, to fill his seat.  Fortenberry is also scheduled to be sentenced on the same day of the special election.

Curtis D. Huffman

  • According to Huffman’s Facebook page, he is a retired Air Force veteran “looking to continue my service and commitment to my community.”

Thireena Yuki Connely

  • Connely is a homeschool mother and a writer from Karatsu, Japan, according to her Ballotpedia page.
  • She says the three key messages of her campaign include getting government spending in check; children deserving education, not indoctrination; and ensuring that people’s rights won’t be chipped away.

John Glen Weaver

  • Weaver was born in Macomb, Illinois, and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1999 to 2021.
  • He says that he has “no political experience” and is not obligated to anyone beside the people of the 1st congressional district, according to his Ballotpedia page.

Mike Flood

  • Flood is currently a state senator who represents Norfolk.  He is also a former speaker of the Legislature.
  • Gov. Pete Ricketts and former Gov. Dave Heineman have endorsed Flood.
  • Flood was selected for the special election by the Nebraska Republican Party.

For representative in Congress, District 2: 

Don Bacon

  • Bacon will be running for reelection.  He was first elected to the position in 2016.
  • He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1985 to 2014 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
  • Bacon is a strong defender of the Constitution, conservative values and national security, according to his website.

Steve Kuehl

  • Kuehl was born in Omaha and has worked as a commercial consultant with White Castle Roofing.
  • He says that the only way to fix the country is “to have ordinary and good-intentioned people join the fight.”
  • Kuehl believes that the country should be run like our households.  He says that his family, or in this case, the United States, will always be put first.

For representative in Congress, District 3: 

Adrian Smith

  • Smith, a Gering native, is running for reelection in 2022.  He was elected to the position in 2006.
  • He previously worked as an educator, real estate agent and as a member of his hometown’s city council.
  • Smith has worked to secure the border, defend Nebraskans’ constitutional freedoms and address inflation, according to his website.

Mike Calhoun

  • Calhoun is Smith’s sole primary opponent.

For governor

Michael Connely

  • Connely, who was born in Broken Bow, served in the United States Marine Corps from 1979 to 2000.
  • He has worked as a testing administrator with the U.S. Department of Defense and founded and led a book publishing company, according to Ballotpedia.
  • In response to a Ballotpedia survey, Connely said, “I am a patriotic, aggressive Marine Corp Sgt. who is not politically correct.”
  • Connely’s three key priorities are investigating computer manipulation in elections, bringing under control and scaling back “wasteful bureaucratic agencies” and restoring “eroded rights.”

Brett Lindstrom

  • Lindstrom currently represents Bennington and part of northwest Omaha in the Nebraska Legislature. He was first elected in 2014.
  • According to Lindstrom’s website, he has passed legislation to make college more affordable in the 6state and defended the unborn and led the fight against the opioid epidemic.
  • He calls himself a “fiscal conservative” who has been at the forefront of tax reform, economic development and family issues.
  • Lindstrom is also a senior wealth strategy specialist at UBS-Lindstrom Group in Omaha.

Donna Nicole Carpenter

  • Nicole Carpenter will be running for governor in the 2022 election.

Lela McNinch

  • McNinch was born in Custer County and has worked for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services and the Nebraska State Patrol.
  • McNinch’s three key campaign messages focus on mental health, creating an inclusive Nebraska and creating a flat tax.
  • She says she is passionate about legalizing medical marijuana and against government overreach, according to her Ballotpedia survey.

Theresa Thibodeau

  • Thibodeau is a former state senator who represented part of west Omaha from 2017 to 2019.
  • She has also served as the chair of the Douglas County Republican Party and owned the Primrose School franchise in La Vista.
  • In March, Thibodeau announced agricultural advocate Trent Loos as her running mate.

Jim Pillen

Troy Wentz

  • Wentz is a spiritual person who enjoys creating and helping others, according to his website.
  • Wentz says that President Joe Biden is a “corrupt politician” and that the “demon crats” are destroying America.
  • He believes that Nebraska’s government has become too large and also says he wants to change our voting system, “so people can not cheat.”

Charles W. Herbster

  • Herbster is a fifth-generation farmer and the owner/CEO of several businesses spanning several states.
  • Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Herbster, even holding a rally for him in Greenwood.
  • Herbster has been accused of groping eight women, including Sen. Julie Slama.
  • According to Herbster’s website, he will put Nebraska first, protect the unborn, defend the Second Amendment and secure elections.

Breland Ridenour

  • Ridenour, a Nebraska native, is currently an IT manager for Skarda Equipment Company, an Omaha business that distributes hydraulic and pneumatic equipment.
  • According to Ridenour’s Ballotpedia survey, he runs on two principles, “the Holy Bible and the U.S. Constitution.”
  • His three key campaign messages are protecting the rights of the people, fighting against abortion and fixing the state’s tax structure.

See also: Herbster touts leadership, Lindstrom cites tax-cutting record in Pillen-less GOP debate, Meet Nebraska’s 2022 gubernatorial candidates, Six Nebraska gubernatorial candidates talk health care, taxes at forum

For secretary of state

Bob Evnen

  • Evnen is running for reelection. He was elected to the role in 2018.
  • He has been endorsed by the Nebraska Farm Bureau.
  • According to Evnen’s Ballotpedia survey, his three key campaign messages are voter ID, public safety and promoting international commerce for Nebraska.
  • Evnen said honesty, integrity, conservatism, humility and a strong sense of humanity are important characteristics for elected officials.

Rex Schroder

  • Schroder is a fourth-generation Nebraskan and a lifelong public servant, according to his campaign’s Facebook page.
  • He said “you won’t find a bigger 2nd amendment supporter” in a recent Facebook post.
  • Schroder writes that his three main areas of focus are youth civics, state protocol officer and elections.

Robert J. Borer

  • Borer is a retired Lincoln Fire & Rescue captain.  He earned the inaugural Congressional Public Officer Medal of Valor, according to his website.
  • Borer writes that he will fight “tirelessly” to ensure that outside special interest groups, profit-driven corporations and the federal government do not steal the “Good Life” from Nebraskans.
  • According to Borer’s Ballotpedia survey, his three key campaign messages are election integrity, supporting the Constitution and educating Nebraskans.

For state treasurer

John Murante

  • Murante is a former state senator who represented part of Sarpy County from 2013 to 2019.  He resigned after being elected state treasurer in 2018.
  • He has been endorsed by the Nebraska Farm Bureau.
  • Murante says he will fight to oppose tax increases and will make sure tax dollars do not go to organizations like Planned Parenthood, according to his website.

Paul Anderson

  • Anderson, a former candidate for the Omaha City Council, is running against incumbent Murante.

For attorney general

Jennifer Hicks

  • Hicks is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and moved to Nebraska in 2004.
  • According to Hicks’ Ballotpedia survey, her three key campaign messages are the importance of voting, the government existing to serve the people and that saying “there’s nothing I can do” is not a reasonable answer for a leader to give.
  • Hicks said her top concern is election integrity.

Mike Hilgers

  • Hilgers is a state senator who represents northern Lancaster County.  He was also elected the speaker of the 107th Legislature.
  • He has been endorsed by current Attorney General Doug Peterson, Gov. Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Farm Bureau.
  • Hilgers fights for the unborn, the law enforcement community, constitutional rights and election integrity, according to his website.

For auditor of public accounts

Mike Foley

  • Foley is currently the lieutenant governor of Nebraska and has served in the role since 2015.
  • He was previously elected state auditor in 2006 and 2010.  Foley is also a former state senator, representing part of Lancaster County from 2000 to 2007.
  • In March, Foley endorsed Charles Herbster for Nebraska governor.

Larry Anderson

  • Anderson has previously worked as a project accountant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • He previously ran for state auditor in 2014.
  • Anderson is also a member of the Nebraska Army National Guard, according to Ballotpedia.

For public service commissioner, District 4

Rod Johnson

  • Johnson is running for reelection.  He has served in the position since 1992.
  • He was previously a state senator from 1983 to 1992.
  • Johnson is also involved in a family farm near Harvard, according to Ballotpedia.

Eric Kamler

  • Kamler is Johnson’s only opponent in the primary.

For public service commissioner, District 5

Mary Ridder

  • She is running for reelection.  She has served in the role since 2017.
  • Ridder is a cattle rancher from Callaway, according to Ballotpedia.

Kevin Stocker

  • Stocker said specific issues that need attention include 911 enhancement, broadband availability, affordable energy and transportation, according to his website.
  • He said his background in the broadband and transportation business will have a positive impact on the commission.

Dakota Delka

  • Dakota is a farmer from Red Cloud, according to Ballotpedia.
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