Nine candidates running in Republican primary for governor of Nebraska

Nine candidates are running in the Republican Party primary for governor of Nebraska on May 10. Incumbent Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) is term-limited.

Candidates Charles Herbster, Brett Lindstrom, and Jim Pillen lead in endorsements, funding, or media attention.

Herbster, who served as the chairman of former President Donald Trump’s (R) Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee, has described himself as a “political outsider, businessman, and fifth-generation farmer and rancher.” He says, “It is time for a Nebraska farmer and rancher to lead our great state toward successful solutions.” Trump endorsed Herbster in October 2021.

Lindstrom is a member of the Nebraska State Senate. He says he has “been at the forefront of tax reform, economic development and family issues” and has “passed legislation to make college more affordable for Nebraskans, defended the unborn, and led the fight against the opioid epidemic.”

Pillen, a University of Nebraska Regent, veterinarian, and the owner of Pillen Family Farms, says he is running “to keep Nebraska great for all our kids and grandkids.” He said, “We have to fix our broken property tax system and cut taxes. We need to modernize our tax structure, expand broadband access, and improve infrastructure across our state.” Ricketts endorsed Pillen in January 2022.

Also running in the primary are Donna Nicole Carpenter, Michael Connely, Lela McNinch, Breland Ridenour, Theresa Thibodeau, and Troy Wentz.

Major independent observers rate the general election as Solid/Safe Republican. Rickets was first elected in 2014 and won re-election in 2018, defeating state Sen. Bob Krist (D) 59-41. Republicans have held trifecta control of Nebraska state government since 1999.