Omaha Senator Bob Krist made it official Wednesday, announcing he’s running for governor in next year’s election.
With family members behind him, Krist said he will commit the time to fix the problems in Nebraska’s prison system. Krist says after encouraging Governor Pete Ricketts to address the issue head on, the governor-quote-“hasn’t delivered”-end quote.
“The governor needs to stop kicking the can down the road,” Krist said during a news conference inside the State Capitol rotunda. “If elected, I will declare an emergency, if he does not in the coming year.”
Krist said he will also work to make sure the government should work for the people. What prompted him to run was last session’s partisan discussion on the state budget.
“We could have done a lot of things and balanced the budget in a lot of ways, without putting on the back of those who are most fragile,” Krist added. “I think that really pushed me over the edge.”
A life-long Republican, Krist is running as an independent and would likely square off against Governor Ricketts in the general election in November 2018, if the governor makes it past the primary in May.
In a news release, the Nebraska Republican Party’s executive director, Kenny Zoeller, criticized Krist for what he termed as “party shopping” for a higher office. Zoeller said, “Clearly Bob Krist has always wanted to use his position as a state senator to run for a higher office, including Congress and Governor.”
Zoeller also said in the release that Krist has often “flip-flopped” on what he believes, he hasn’t been able to choose a party for the ballot.
Krist mentioned that he won’t conform to the platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties, prompting him to run as an independent.