Gunnin’ for governor

Tom Carlson is the lone Republican candidate not from Lincoln, Omaha

Norma Volkmer, News Editor

If Senator Tom Carlson wins Nebraska’s gubernatorial race in November, he will be the oldest governor in Nebraska’s history.

Carlson is one of six Republican candidates running for governor. He is currently a state senator, and will be forced out of the Unicameral by term limits at the end of this year.

His age, however, he remarked, is not a factor.

“It has everything to do with experience, leadership and representing the people of this great state,’’ Carlson said. “Being governor isn’t just about protecting the good life, it’s about making the good life even better.’”

Carlson has represented the 38th District in the Unicameral for two terms, entering as a freshman senator in 2007. He serves on the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee, the Committee on Committees and is chair of the Natural Resources Committee.

He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s from the University of Northern Colorado and got a PhD in education from the University of Iowa. He taught and coached at Taylor University before deciding to return to Holdrege, Neb., where he was born.

Following his return, he began working as a financial advisor, which he continues to do when the Unicameral is not in session. He also spent eight years on the Holdrege Public School Board.

Carlson is running on five main issues: water, property taxes, the XL Pipeline, the Affordable Care Act and the agriculture industry.

He wants to work towards water sustainability for today and the future, calling water the “life-blood of everyone in Nebraska.” He stated that property taxes are too high, but that income tax should be paid by everyone who makes income. He is in favor of building the XL Pipeline, stating that he doesn’t think it is a threat to the aquifer.

Carlson is against the Affordable Care Act, worried that it is not as affordable as it may seem. Finally, he is campaigning on maintaining agriculture as the number one industry in Nebraska.

Within six months, he visited all 93 counties, finishing up in mid-December. This helped give him recognition throughout the state, helping build his reputation with the rural 3rd District.

He is the only Republican candidate not living in Omaha or Lincoln.

“Lincoln and Omaha will always do fine, but when rural Nebraska prospers the whole entire does,” Carlson said.

Right now, he seems to be the voice of the rural Nebraskans, but only time will tell if his campaign as the only rural candidate will work.

Quotes courtesy of