Republican Tom Brewer says he will continue his campaign to unseat Republican Congressman Adrian Smith, despite being diagnosed with cancer.
Brewer, who recently retired as a Colonel from the Army, has been diagnosed with a leukemia that might have developed during his service in Afghanistan where he oversaw the use of herbicides to destroy opium fields.
Brewer says he feels fine; that blood tests show the treatments he is receiving are working.
“So far, I have not had any side effects. So, I feel kind of guilty that I’m not sick or having problems, but I guess we’ll take what they give us,” Brewer tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Brewer, who is 55, served 36 years in the military, many in the Nebraska National Guard. He served six deployments to Afghanistan and was asked to retire after being seriously injured a second time.
Brewer is undergoing intense chemotherapy treatments at Midwest Cancer Center in Papillion.
A campaign to unseat an incumbent in his own party’s primary is an uphill battle in and of itself. A diagnosis of cancer creates a steeper hill to climb.
Still, Brewer insists the diagnosis will not slow down his campaign to defeat Smith in the Republican primary.
“As I’ve started the campaign, the leukemia really didn’t slow me down. I’m going everywhere, doing everything. I’m really am glad that I made the decision to move forward there,” Brewer says. “And the more of the Third District I travel and have a chance to talk to folks the more I realize that he’s very beatable.”