Voters’ Guide: Governor of Nebraska

The League of Women Voters contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

PDF of Voters’ Guide | Find voter information specific to your ballot at vote411.org.

All Nebraskans are represented by this office.

Candidates for Nebraska Governor

Bob Krist (D):  http://www.kristfornebraska.com.  Current Public Office, dates held: Senator Krist was appointed to the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature by Governor Dave Heineman in 2009, elected to a four-year term in 2010, and reelected in 2014.  Past Public Office, dates held: none.  Education: Creighton Preparatory School, Omaha, with honors, 1975.  University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, 1979.  Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, Master of Arts, Business Administration/Human Relations, 1982.  Military experience: United States Air Force, 1979 to 2000, retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.  1997, appointed as Chief of Plans and Programs for the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB.  1998, chosen as an Active Duty Air Force Advisor to the Governor and the Adjutant General in th.  Volunteer experience: Krist is the former president of the Madonna School in Omaha, whose mission is to serve students and adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities to become as independent as possible. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Nati

Pete Ricketts (R):  No response received.

Nebraska Governor Candidates’ Responses

How should the problem of prison overcrowding be handled?

Bob Krist: Under current law, the governor must declare a prison emergency in 2020 if overcrowding has not been reduced to 40%  above design capacity. Such a declaration would require the state to parole enough inmates to reduce the population to match full design capacity. If elected, I will declare a state of emergency immediately. My administration will take a new look at finding solutions and reducing the number of non-violent offenders in the system.  Non violent inmates with behavioral, mental health, substance abuse, drugs or alcohol need access to more treatment options at the community-based level. We can make great strides going forward by re-engaging with behavioral health and the Department of Health and Human Services in establishing more of those programs.  We must do a better job of insuring that non violent offenders can return to society and become productive and working as soon as possible.

Pete Ricketts: No response received.

How should current and projected budget shortfalls be handled?  What are your funding priorities?

Bob Krist:  My funding priorities begin with education; including K-12, our universities, community colleges, and job training institutions. Public safety is of paramount importance, including reform of our prison system to ensure the safety of our employees and the public, along with controlling costs.  We must look for ways to fund our roads and bridges, maintain a pristine state park system, and provide the quality infrastructure that will attract new employers and keep current ones based in Nebraska.  We must work to ensure access to health care in rural Nebraska, provide proper funding for our special needs community, and expand Medicaid to reduce uncompensated health care costs.  Priorities for budget shortfalls:  Protect rainy-day fund.  Reduce spending and function more efficiently.  Look for ways to expand the tax base through job creation.  Eliminate tax loopholes and special tax breaks.

Pete Ricketts:  No response received.

How does Nebraska attract and retain young people?

Bob Krist:  The key to attracting and retaining young people is a combination of economic opportunity and quality of life.  Nebraska must continue to provide quality education and job training to match the needs or demands of our 21st century economy. And, working with our current employers, we must anticipate future employment trends and continually update curriculum and job training programs.  We must seek out new employers to build their businesses here in Nebraska, while working with current employees to continue their growth in our state. We cannot afford to lose more companies like ConAgra and Cabela’s.  We must offer a quality public education system for their children, stellar public safety, parks and outdoor activities that are attractive, music, arts, and entertainment that matches their expectations, and an open and inviting society that does discriminate on the basis of race, creed, or sexual orientation.

Pete Ricketts:  No response received.

Should Nebraska expand Medicaid?

Bob Krist:  Yes, I support Medicaid expansion in a controlled capacity, utilizing CMS dollars through a waiver program.

Pete Ricketts:  No response received.

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