Nebraska governor candidates face each other in first debate
Aug. 31, 2018
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Sen. Bob Krist clashed on property taxes, tariffs and other issues during their first debate in their race for governor.
The Republican incumbent and Democratic candidate faced off Thursday at the Nebraska State Fair. They agreed that the most pressing issue for residents was property taxes, but that's where the agreement ended.
The candidates were asked what they would do and why more progress hasn't been made. Krist said he would support using more sales and income taxes to offset property taxes.
Ricketts defended his work by citing investments in the state's property tax relief credit fund, a program that uses state dollars to offset local spending. He also noted that Krist was the only person to vote against a bill that he said would've directed more relief to farmers and ranchers.
Ricketts asked Krist why voters should trust him after only one of his bills has addressed property taxes and would have increased them.
Krist, who has served 10 years in the Legislature, said his bill aimed to draw attention to funds that were being pulled from the Nebraska's cash reserve. Krist said the practice can't continue.
"The fact that you're asking people of Nebraska for four more years means you haven't done anything in the last four years either," Krist told Ricketts.
The candidates were also questioned about tariffs and the effects they have on the state's farmers and manufacturers.
Ricketts said he has been in communication with President Donald Trump's administration about their impact on the state. Krist said more of an effort should be made on growing a coalition between leaders and agricultural states to address the issue.
The candidates also discussed Medicaid expansion, college affordability, medical marijuana and overcrowding in prisons.