State Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete has switched from the Republican to the Libertarian Party.
Ebke sent a letter on Tuesday to those who supported her financially in her successful 2014 campaign for the legislature, informing them of her decision. She becomes the first Libertarian Party candidate in the officially non-partisan Unicameral.
Ebke states in the letter that the reasons for making the switch are many and that it was made after months of consideration. She says her basic view of the world has not changed. Ebke calls herself a Goldwater-Reagan conservative who believes in smaller government, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, respect for constitutional rights, and a strong military.
“By 2008, I was feeling like ‘movement conservatism’ that I’d grown up a part of, was becoming largely absent in the Republican Party,” Ebke writes.
Ebke says though the Unicameral is officially non-partisan and that many would never know she had changed parties, she felt it was important for supporters to know.
Ebke highlights four reasons for her switch.
Ebke says she has been disheartened by the pressure to vote the Republican Party line in the Unicameral. She says that as a Republican the pressure to vote with the Republican governor is significant, adding that the notion that Gov. Pete Ricketts should be able to tell legislators how to vote because they are registered in the same party does a disservice to the role of the legislature. Ebke writes that the Republican Party has seemed to ignore constitutional governance and failed to make good on their promise of smaller government. Lastly, Ebke says the Republican Party of 2016 is fundamentally different from the Republican Party she grew up in.
Ebke says time will tell if the citizens of the 32nd Legislative District come to the conclusion that she cannot represent them as a Libertarian.
Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN, interviews Sen. Ebke on her switch to the Libertarian Party.