For the first time in its 13-year existence, the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) have endorsed a candidate for office when the board voted to endorse Bob Krist for Governor of Nebraska.
Krist had announced that he would run as an Independent last summer, but the unreasonably high barriers needed to secure a place on the ballot forced Krist, a lifelong Republican, to reconsider his options and he moved to the Democratic Party.
Bob Krist is a retired Lt. Colonel in the US Air Force, flying over 100 combat missions during his 21-year Air Force career. Krist has remained in the aviation field since retirement from the Air Force, working with the Army Corp of Engineers as contract manager and chief pilot.
ICON’s actions reflect the board’s deep dissatisfaction with Governor Ricketts and his refusal to address meaningful property tax reform. Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers pay the nation’s highest property taxes (in excess of $22,000) on a per capita basis, outpacing second-place California where the per capita average is $13,000.
“Governor Ricketts has ignored the needs of his most loyal supporters in rural Nebraska by continuing to actively oppose any discussion of meaningful property tax reform,” ICON Treasurer Al Davis said. “The Governor’s 2018 tax bill would have generated only $25 in property tax relief for the state’s homeowners, but $13 million dollars in income tax relief for him and his family.”
“Nebraska’s agricultural producers are at the breaking point,” ICON board member Chris Abbott said. “If something isn’t done soon I think we’ll see many more individuals exiting the state for better agricultural opportunities elsewhere. I want my children to have the same opportunities I had to build a life in Nebraska. I don’t think that will be possible if we reelect Ricketts for another four years.”
Bob Krist is solidly pro-life and a supporter of the second amendment. He has been one of the strongest advocates for the disabled and those with special needs and knows the issues associated with family members of those individuals since his own daughter is a special needs child.
“Ricketts lack of leadership manifests itself in other areas too,” Davis said. “We’ve seen troubles in the state patrol, in health and human services, loss of life in the state’s corrections systems due to overcrowding, and the closing of a number of nursing homes due to lack of funding and poor oversight by the state. In addition, we’ve lost two great Nebraska companies during the past four years when Con-Agra moved to Chicago and Cabela’s was taken over. I ask you, where is the leadership?” Davis said.