He is a cattle rancher. He is an entrepreneur. Whether he is a candidate for United States Senate remains to be seen.
Custer County rancher Jim Jenkins says he’s still assessing the feasibility of an independent campaign. Jenkins says it appears the two-party system in the United States is broken. He says he will attempt to determine whether an independent candidate can bring Nebraskans together.
Some practical matters must be considered as well.
“Whether or not I can raise the money and build enough support to do it as an independent candidate remains to be seen,” Jenkins says. “I will tell you it’s probably a long shot, but it may be something I try just to raise consciousness and to try to maybe turn our state and country in a different direction; try open up the process to independent thought.”
Jenkins has some time to reach a decision. The Secretary of State’s office reports the deadline for non-office holders to file for federal office is March 1st.
A change in state election laws has given Jenkins a more difficult road to reaching the ballot. Jenkins switched from a Democrat to an Independent, but his timing couldn’t have been worse. The change in state law now requires him to gather signatures to make in on the ballot as an independent. Jenkins says he is considering a constitutional challenge to the law and is working with the legislature to change the law.
Jenkins is the former chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. He runs a cattle ranch near Callaway. He began the Whiskey Creek Steakhouse chain in Nebraska and is the co-founder of the Skeeter Barnes Restaurants.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]