She made a name for herself fighting the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Now, Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb hopes to lead the state Democratic Party.
Kleeb ended speculation Friday, making an announcement in Lincoln that she would run for chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party during its state convention this weekend in Kearney.
Kleeb says she wants to change the state’s political landscape.
“We’re never going to change the political landscape of our state so we have politicians actually giving a damn about our families, unless we start electing more Democrats,” Kleeb tells Nebraska Radio Network in an interview.
Kleeb made her decision after an attempt at forming a “unity ticket” fell through.
Kleeb initially proposed current Nebraska Democratic Party chairman Vince Powers run for re-election with Kleeb running for vice chair. Under the proposal, former state Sen. Steve Lathrop would become a candidate for national committeeman. Democratic fundraiser Andy Holland would be a candidate for national committeewoman.
The attempt to pull supporters of former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders together stirred controversy within the party. Powers withdrew his candidacy for re-election. Lathrop withdrew as a candidate for committeeman.
Both Powers and Lathrop attended Kleeb’s announcement at the Hub Café in Lincoln.
To shake up the political landscape, Kleeb believes the state party needs a shakeup.
“I think that means some old-timers stay. We need their knowledge base,” Kleeb says. “But, I also think it means there needs to be room at the table for new blood and new voices. Otherwise, we are not going to win state-wide elections.”
Kleeb will run against the Democrats 2014 gubernatorial nominee Chuck Hassebrook.
Kleeb supports Sanders, who won the state Democratic Caucus. Clinton won the primary. The party will divide delegates according to the caucus results.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]