In March, the NAPE/AFSCME Government Affairs Committee interviewed candidates running for Governor of Nebraska to learn about their positions and to gauge their support on issues important to state employees. Participating candidates were Republicans Charles Herbster, Brett Lindstrom, and Jim Pillen, as well as Democrat Carol Blood. Republican Theresa Thibodeau declined to participate in the interview process.
After interviewing the candidates, the Government Affairs Committee shared summaries of the candidate interviews and made endorsement recommendations to the NAPE/AFSCME Board of Directors in accordance with our bylaws. The summaries of each candidate’s interview is available by clicking here.
Having considered the interviews and the committee recommendations, the Board of Directors voted to endorse Brett Lindstom in the Republican Primary and Carol Blood in the Democratic Primary.
Senator Lindstrom stood out in the Republican field as the most knowledgeable about issues that affect state employees including salaries, benefits, workload and employee turnover. Lindstrom also separated himself from the field with his answers regarding how he will select agency heads – stressing that it is important to have knowledgeable, non-partisan, agency heads, not simply political appointees. Finally, Senator Lindstrom’s experience as the Vice Chair of the Legislature’s Retirement Systems Committee has demonstrated his ability to work with us collaboratively on issues important to state employees.
Senator Blood earned our endorsement in the Democratic primary by highlighting her long voting record in the Legislature supporting both state employees and union labor as a whole. Senator Blood is not only knowledgeable on issues important to state employees, but she recalls her time as a union member when she worked for the Department of Corrections. Senator Blood told the committee that state employee wages must catch up to other states and believes our union is an important and crucial voice for state employees to collectively bargain for higher wages.
Regardless of who NAPE/AFSCME members choose to vote for, it is important to be active in the primary elections and exercise your right to vote. We are appreciative to all the candidates who participated in the endorsement interview process, and regardless of who becomes the next governor of Nebraska, NAPE/AFSCME is committed to working with them to ensure state employees are fairly compensated and able to provide the essential services that Nebraskans deserve.
It should be noted that our endorsement does not come with monetary contributions. NAPE/AFSCME does not donate dues money to political candidates.