Tyler Davis is a businessman and lecturer at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He also has been politically active as a Republican.
This is his first run for office, as a Democrat, because he is fed up with politicians.
“We’ve allowed politicians to lie to us. They say one thing in the campaign and do another thing in office. As citizens of the United States, we shouldn’t allow that anymore,” Davis tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Rural communities will be a focus of his administration, saying those have been in a depression his entire life.
“There’s no real mixed-housing, so the opportunity to bring in new businesses and new industries is just almost impossible in rural communities,” Davis says. “We can do some tax increment financing, which would allow some developers to actually make money.”
He says property tax relief is needed, and has an idea for making up the lost revenue.
“Industrial hemp makes sense in Nebraska, medical marijuana and even recreational marijuana – if you look to the states that have done that, they’re making pretty good money on tax revenue,” he says.
Davis faces State Senator Bob Krist and Omaha activist Vanessa Ward in the Democratic Primary, but he is already taking aim at the likely GOP nominee, Gov. Pete Ricketts.
“Trying to run against Ricketts is trying to climb Mount Everest,” he admits. “It’s just that difficult with that amount of money. Regardless of how much money we can personally raise, he can personally write a check with his family’s money above it.”
Davis says the state’s correctional system needs improvement.
He says the state is treating Corrections staff unfairly, especially when it comes to mandatory over-time.
“People have to have a life-work balance. You can’t burn them out week after week, month after month, and expect them to be motivated and continue in that particular career field.”
Davis also says veteran correctional officers tell him that new hires are being paid more than them.
Another problem is prison overcrowding.
“We have to look at letting low-level offenders out,” he says. “Here in Nebraska, we do have, what I call, debtors prison – people who can’t pay their fines and they’re still being incarcerated. It’s kind of stupid to do that.”
Davis says more prevention efforts are needed, because who winds up in prison is a socio-economic issue.
His background as an entrepreneur is an asset he says will help him lure more business to Nebraska.
Davis is a partner with Protective Security Advisors in Omaha.
He says small businesses are the backbone of Nebraska’s economy.
“What I’ve seen from a business perspective, our current governor is giving big out-of-state corporations tax cuts,” he says. “If you look at the Nebraska Advantage Act, it’s not really growing the state. It’s more or less corporate welfare.”
Davis says he can do a better job to enticing companies to set up shop, and growing local companies here.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [1:09]
This is one of a series of reports from Nebraska Radio Network profiling Primary Election candidates for governor and U.S. Senate who do not typically receive wide media or voter attention.