(Neb)-State Sen Bob Krist Forming 3rd Party To Run For Gov
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - State Senator Bob Krist of Omaha, who is term-limited says he plans to leave the Republican Party and challenge GOP Gov. Pete Ricketts next year as a third-party candidate.
The 60-year old Krist told the Omaha World-Herald that he'll try to put a new party on the ballot rather than run as an independent because it takes many fewer signatures.
Independent candidates running for governor must gather about 120,000 signatures...10% of the state's registered voters, which totaled 1.2-million in last year's general election. Getting a third party on the ballot requires only 5,000 signatures.
Krist said he wants to restore a "nonpartisan attitude" in the state because while the Legislature is officially nonpartisan, that's no longer true with more of "the party highway or no way" and less conversation and debate. He calls it "divisive" and "counter to everything we need to do right now."
Krist also said he would aim to restore a "separation of power" between the executive and legislative branches, a line he says has blurred during Ricketts' time as governor.
Ricketts' spokesman Taylor Gage said the governor "respects the independence of the unicameral" and reelection campaign head Jessica Flanagain says Ricketts isn't commenting on potential candidates for governor, but the Republican Party is.
It issued a press release Friday afternoon calling Krist's planned party change "another flip-flop" and false claim....citing a May article in the Lincoln Journal Star in which Krist called himself a Republican and was not "am not going to change my coat."
The GOP press release also lists a number of legislative issues on which Krist changed his positions. His replay was that "If the definition of 'flip-flop' is someone who does what he believes, then I'll own it."
Krist was appointed to the Legislature by then-Gov. Dave Heineman in 2009 and was elected to full terms in 2010 and 2014.
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