Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen talks with voters in Sidney

SIDNEY, NE — Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen was on the campaign trail in Sidney Monday morning. He told voters he’ll run the state like a business if elected.

"I'm going to tell you what I told a guy last week that called me a politician twice," Pillen said. "I said, 'If you call me a politician a third time I'm going to bloody your nose.' I ain't a politician."

The owner of Pillen Family Farms near Columbus, Neb., told the crowd he wants to cut government spending and fix Nebraska’s tax code.

"We are not competitive in our tax situation," Pillen said. "I'm not standing here to tell you I can solve everything, but I believe we have a problem. It's not competitive and it has to be overhauled."

Another major topic of Pillen’s stop in Sidney was discussing how to keep young people in Nebraska.

"The brain drain?" he said. "The brain drain is driving me crazy. Guess who is responsible for the brain drain. We all are."

The University of Nebraska Regent said one of his goals would to have all high school graduates in Nebraska continue on with skill development whether that’s in college, trade school or other work.

When questioned about topics taught to kids not quite ready to graduate, Pillen said he was 100 percent against teaching Critical Race Theory. He called it divisive and anti-American. Pillen also said he is opposed to the sex education standards proposed by the state Board of Education. 

"If I'm your governor, over by dead body will it be taught from Kindergarten through the 12th grade," Pillen said of Critical Race Theory. "No way. No place for it."

Fellow agribusinessman Charles Herbster and Skarda Equipment Company IT Manager Breland Ridenour have also announced campaigns for the Republican bid for governor.