State Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha has announced he will run as an independent for governor.
“I am running for governor, because Nebraskans want a strong, independent leader,” Krist announced during a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda.
Krist said he had spent the past several weeks speaking with his family, friends, and Nebraska voters before confirming a decision he had been toying with since the past legislative session.
“People across the state are saying the same thing,” according to Krist. “Nebraskans are looking for independent and effective leadership. We believe I am the right person to answer the call and return us to the non-partisan traditions that made Nebraska great.”
Krist charged that the Nebraska Unicameral can no longer truly be called a non-partisan body. He says politics fashioned in Washington have crept into legislative work.
“Nebraska voters are fed up with the partisan politics that divide us rather than unite us,” Krist said, taking a shot at Gov. Pete Ricketts. “Our current governor has worsened the situation by personally bankrolling the challengers to senators who did not vote right down the middle with him.”
Krist criticized Ricketts, a fellow Republican, for failing to show leadership; critical of the governor’s budget priorities and his work with the Department of Correctional Services to resolve lingering problems in the state prison system, including overcrowded prisons.
At least, Ricketts used to be a fellow Republican. Krist, a former Air Force pilot, says he will switch his party affiliation from Republican to non-partisan.
AUDIO: Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha announces his candidacy for governor. [5:20]