Gov. Ricketts says GOP will address issues, win elections in 2020

December 29, 2018

LINCOLN - Gov. Pete Ricketts says Republicans are looking ahead after a mid-term election which wasn’t kind to the GOP.

Ricketts, new chair of the Republican Governor’s Association, says reports out of Washington about the association’s annual winter meetings over-played worries expressed about the mid-term election.

“Well, I think that some of those reports were actually a little bit exaggerated about what Republican governors were saying,” Ricketts tells reporters. “I think if you look at this cycle, what you saw was not different from other cycles. So, for example, if you go back to President Obama’s first term, his first mid-term election, he lost 60 seats in the House. Well, the Republicans just lost 40 seats.”

Still, Ricketts concedes Republicans lost some crucial races, often after losing suburban voters. That was a major topic of discussion during the Republican Governors Association’s annual winter meeting in Arizona. Some political publications stated Republican governors expressed concern about falling Republican support among women and upper-income suburban voters, a few blaming the rhetoric coming from the White House. Several governors, in interviews with national reporters, shared their concerns about the “tone” set by President Trump.

Ricketts points to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as a success story for Republicans and as an example for other gubernatorial candidates to follow. Ricketts says Hogan formed a focus group of 110 women who corresponded with the campaign online. Ricketts says Hogan listened to what they said, addressed their concerns, and won in a liberal, Democrat-leaning state.

“Again, that’s an example of how we’ve got to go out and talk to voters about things they care about and when do that, we’ll win.”

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