BEATRICE – Columbus agribusinessman Jim Pillen continued his campaign for the Republican nomination for Governor in Nebraska, making several stops in the Beatrice area, Thursday.
The former All-Big Eight defensive back with the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Board of Regents member got into the race early as the state works out of a pandemic. He has been campaigning the past eight weeks.
"My two oldest children run our business...I'm blessed to be able to give back to the State of Nebraska. We're going to work very, very hard to earn every Nebraskan's vote. Grassroots campaigning is what will make the difference, to win this race."
One of the major issues has been the workforce…getting people to fill the jobs that are available.
"I'm a hand-up person....not a hand-out person. Unemployment has to be reined if people abuse systems...it has to be under tough guidelines, so, we have to get everybody back to work. It's essential for our communities to thrive, it's essential for our state to thrive."
Pillen holds a degree in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State. Pillen Family Farms and its DNA Genetics has over eleven-hundred workers. Though progress as been made on tax relief, Pillen said the state needs to come together on the issue to help the state prosper. He said people understand that property doesn’t generate enough revenue to pay property taxes.
"One idea that's worth consideration is to try to make it more like business and do an income-based assessment plan that would make up for property tax. That is a way to create better competition so we don't have people leaving because of their property taxes. I think obviously the other piece is that in this process, we all have to talk a little bit about spending. In agriculture, we all talk about we have to do more with less."
Taxation, Pillen says, along with keeping people in Nebraska are two of the most mentioned issues he hears.
As several states consider voting and election law changes, Pillen said he supports a voter ID requirement. "I have to use my I.D. to cash a check. I have to use my I.D. to check into a hotel. That would seem reasonable to use that to vote....to keep that process pure."
If elected, Pillen would work with a legislature that is officially non-partisan, but where party ideology frequently surfaces.
"A really, really simple answer that some people may criticize...but the bottom line when I look at every member of the unicameral, I look them in the eyes and I look at them as Nebraskans. We're going to develop trusting relationships....and figure out how to get stuff done...and understand we have to develop win-win...but win-win means that we all give up a little something for the greater good of Nebraska. That would be my approach."
On the issue of medical marijuana, Pillen said he is an advocate of science and being able to help people. He said the issue could be handled in a controlled prescription fashion….and said he does not support unchecked use of marijuana.