A relative new-comer to Nebraska politics is running for governor as a Republican.
Krystal Gabel says she is running a grassroots campaign based on government transparency, prison reform, and job creation.
“Nebraskans really want an executive leader who serves, protects, and who respects their rights and freedoms as granted to them by the Constitution,” Gabel tells Nebraska Radio Network. “I think a lot of people feel like they’re not listened to, so I want to be an empathetic and compassionate leader who is available, who speaks frankly and honestly and transparently to the public.”
Gabel, a freelance writer/editor from Omaha, has run for local offices, but says there is a greater need to work on statewide issues and run a grassroots campaign.
“We don’t have to have money — you don’t have to spend $52 million of your family’s money to be elected as an executive leader,” she explains, “so that’s why I’m running — to give people an option.”
Gabel says industrial production and processing of hemp and medicinal marijuana can spur the state’s economy.
“We’re not talking about getting high here. We’re talking about healing and putting money back into our pockets.”
She also wants to reform state government.
“Nebraskans also want prison reform. They want to see their money being spent, instead, on education and rehabilitation programs for people who are addicted to opiates,” Gabel says.
Gabel will face Governor Pete Ricketts in the GOP Primary next May.
“I’m getting my name in that hat, because I truly believe I can beat Governor Pete Ricketts,” she says. “He received approximately 58,000 votes to win the Primary last time. I believe I can get more votes than that, so that’s why I’m challenging him.”
She says she has been talking with Libertarians, Independents, and Democrats about registering as a Republican to vote for her, and she is encouraging non-voters to get registered and support her campaign.
Her campaign is accepting small donations from individuals and small business owners.
“I’m very conscious of who I’m accepting my money from, because I want to support workers, I want to support small businesses,” Gabel explains. “I’m not accepting corporate donors. I think that is part of why Governor Pete Ricketts got to spend $52 million to win a seat that only pays $105,000 a year.”
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:44]