Bob Krist, Retired Air Force Officer and State Senator Announces Campaign for Nebraska Governor

“Voters are fed up with partisan politics that divide us rather than unite us.”

LINCOLN, NE – Sen. Bob Krist, a retired veteran of the U.S. Air Force, says he is running for governor because Nebraskans want a strong, independent leader who will lower taxes and make state government more efficient.

“Voters are fed up with partisan politics that divide us rather than unite us. Partisan bickering in Washington has spread to our nonpartisan Nebraska Legislature , and our current Governor has worsened the situation by personally bankrolling challengers to senators who don’t vote right down the line with him,” Krist said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Krist will officially change his voter registration from Republican to non-partisan at the Douglas County Election Commission office near his home in Omaha.

“I am becoming an Independent because we need to restore a nonpartisan attitude in state government. The Legislature was once a nonpartisan body, but that’s not the case today. Now we have less conversation, less debate and more of the party highway or no way. It’s counter to everything we need to do right now. I believe the emphasis should be on working together.”

Krist said his number one priority will be to focus on finding nonpartisan solutions to reducing property taxes for all Nebraska, while assuring adequate education funding.

“For the nearly ten years that I have served in the Nebraska Legislature, all we’ve done is talk about tax reform. The tax problem is bigger than just property tax relief, it is about restoring the balance between property tax, income tax, and sales tax: the three-legged stool.”

“I understand when people say they feel their voices are not being heard. If elected governor, the talking will turn into action. I will get it done,” he said.

Also high on Sen. Krist's list of policy priorities will be a commitment to fix the problems that have plagued the state's prison system.

“I understand the problems with our Department of Corrections. During my time in the Legislature, I’ve served in numerous leadership positions relating to our prison system. I’ve repeatedly encouraged the Governor to understand the urgency of finding lasting solutions and to fix our prison system.”

“I understand the overtime issue, I understand the overcrowding issue, and I understand that the time for talk is over. The governor needs to act now and declare an emergency. Our prisons have become the number one public safety issue in Nebraska, and the time to act is now.”

In addition, Krist said his campaign will focus on his core conservative belief that government should work for the people.

“We are committed to making our State Government more efficient and hardworking for all Nebraskans. And we must do so without harming the most fragile members of our society. We must look internally for efficiencies and better use of personnel, reduce waste, and identify and stop fraud and abuse. We must commit ourselves to fixing and rebuilding those state agencies who are not effectively responding to the needs of our citizens.”

After a morning news conference Wednesday at the State Capitol in Lincoln, Krist will head to Omaha where he will officially change his party affiliation from Republican to Independent/nonpartisan. Next week he will announce a statewide listening tour to hear directly from Nebraskans about their priorities and concerns while assessing how people in Nebraska judge the administration of Gov. Pete Ricketts in his third year as governor.

To learn more about Sen. Krist’s Independent candidacy for Nebraska governor including dates for the listening tour and how to become involved, visit


September 13, 2017, 9:30 AM CDT

Contact: Dan Parsons, (402) 580-2321

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Bob Krist, 60, is a native of Omaha, graduating from Creighton Prep High School and then the University of St. Thomas where he received a degree in sociology. He went on to receive a master’s degree in business administration from Webster University.

Krist served honorably in the United States Air Force from 1979 to 2000, retiring as Lt. Colonel having flown more than 100 combat sorties during his 21-year career . He was appointed to the Nebraska Legislature by Gov. Dave Heineman in 2009 to serve out the term of Mike Friend. He was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Krist’s term will end due to term limits in January 2019.

Krist is the former president of the Madonna School in Omaha, whose mission is to serve students and adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities to become as independent as possible. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National Guard Association of Nebraska; and was named the Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations in 2013.

Bob has been married to his wife Margaret Mary O’Connor for 37 years, and they have two children: Justin and Courtney and one grandson, Lucas.