Nebraska Nominee Pillen to Newsmax: Won Because Residents 'Think For Themselves' Jim Pillen and wife Suzanne Pillen celebrate Tuesday's win in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Kenneth Ferriera/Lincoln Journal Star via AP)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 11 May 2022 12:41 PM
Jim Pillen, who won the race for the GOP nomination in Nebraska's primary Tuesday against challenger Charles Herbster, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Wednesday on Newsmax credited the victory to being in a state where voters "think for themselves."
"I think that Nebraska is an extraordinary place," Pillen said on Newsmax's "National Report." "We're in the middle of the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, that mankind's ever known, and we're very, very unique people. We're the best-kept secret in the land and we're a very special place because of our people and our strategy was simple. Grassroots matter."
Pillen, a hog farm owner and veterinarian who had been backed by outgoing Gov. Pete Ricketts, defeated eight challengers in addition to Herbster, a businessman backed by Trump who had been accused late in the campaign of groping young women.
Nebraska has not elected a Democrat as governor since 1994, and Pillen, who faces Democrat state Sen. Carol Blood in November, told Newsmax that he believes he can attract Democrat or independent voters to his side through his focus on the state's children.
"One thing every Nebraskan is in 100% agreement on is that our kids are our future," Pillen said. "We have to invest in our kids and we've got to make sure we never, ever ever give up on a kid."
He said he believes the state can do a better job in making sure its young people are better trained for the future and that they understand that the "grass is greenest here in Nebraska" in hopes of keeping people in the state.
"Nebraska is the greatest place to be, and the coolest part of all is today, because of incredible opportunities across our state, all of our kids want to live here after they get trained, so that's something that's important to all of us," Pillen said. "That's the future for Nebraska, looking ahead to the next generation and hoping to keep them in the state as well."
Nebraska, like the rest of the nation, is facing growing inflation, even with a small dip reported Wednesday for April, with numbers falling to 8.3% from 8.5%.
"It certainly tells us that we've got to quit printing money," Pillen said. "I think that we've got to quit printing money at the federal level, and then in Nebraska is we can hunker down and we've got to stop spending money. When you have runaway inflation, I can remember as a kid the last time that happened from the government printing too much money. We just gotta hunker down and get through it."
Pillen added that as a Christian conservative and as a farmer, he is a "big-time believer in people" and in having food security.
"I'll be one of the few governors that have lived and walked in all aspects of agriculture," said Pillen. "Food security, I think it's a little more obvious to people today the outcome when you look at what's happened in the last nine or 10 weeks in Ukraine. It's really important that we have a commonsense voice that understands how important food security is … we all worked seven days a week to take care and feed the world and what's pretty awesome about the state of Nebraska is we're the best there is in the world at it."
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