Agriculture entrepreneur and Trump ally Charles Herbster is making tax reform in the Cornhusker State the cornerstone of his bid for a second try at the governorship of Nebraska.
Eight years after abandoning a run for Nebraska Governor’s Mansion while his wife recovered from heart surgery, Herbster announced his candidacy on April 26 in Fremont, Nebraska.
He joined Newsmax TV Friday to discuss his candidacy.
“We've got some things that I want to address as the next governor in terms of our taxes in terms of making Nebraska more attractive for people to come to the state and stay here and not leave and go somewhere else for tax benefits,” Herbster said Friday on Newsmax TV’s “John Bachman Now.”
“What does that entail? That's going to entail taking a look at the entire tax system, putting everything on the board, looking at consumption tax possibilities, looking at the exclusions that we have in the tax system, and we're going to just look at everything because our tax system in Nebraska really dates back to the ‘60s, and we're no longer living in the ‘60s.
“So, I think there's a tremendous opportunity for us. Just make this state more attractive and make taxes more equitable across the state, and that's going to encourage people to stay here and come here and build businesses.”
Herbster, who owns an Angus cattle farm, a farm equipment company in Kansas City, Missouri, and a global cattle breeding business, is one of five declared candidates for the GOP nomination to replace fellow Republican Pete Ricketts, who is prohibited by law from seeking a third term in 2022.
"We are going to fight for the best Nebraska we've ever had tax-wise, education-wise, immigration and all the things that are important to us," Herbster said in announcing his candidacy. "I love this state."
Herbster gained national attention as the head of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign’s agriculture and rural advisory committee, an association that he said dates to 2005 and embraces to this day.
"Everybody said: 'You're going to run for governor? You have to take the Trump (license) plates off,'" he said. "And this is how loyal I am to the 45th president of the United States, I said: 'If it's the difference between being disloyal to President Trump or becoming governor of Nebraska, I will not be disloyal to the 45th president.
"Whether I get elected to a political office or whether I'm running a company or business or I help somebody out, they can be assured that I am always going to be loyal to their cause."
His close ties to the former president were evident at his campaign announcement with an introduction by former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
"I know a little bit about successful businessmen, political outsiders who really don't need this crap and who run for all the right reasons," Conway said.
"I know what is in (Herbster's) heart: unconditional love. Really for everyone around here, including the great state of Nebraska, where he and his family have been for many, many years."
Among Herbster’s businesses are Carico Farms Inc. and Herbster Angus Farms Inc. in Falls City, Nebraska; North American Breeders Inc. in Virginia; Conklin Company Inc. in Kansas City; Agri-Solutions Inc. in Red Oak, Iowa; and Judy’s Dream Inc. in Omaha.
His family’s holdings in Nebraska date back to 1847 when his great-great-grandfather, William McKendry Maddox, began homesteading in the state, according to his website.
Besides Herbster, others who have formally declared their candidacy for the governor's office include information technology manager Breland Ridenour, former congressional candidate and state Sen. Brett Lindstrom, University of Nebraska Board of regents member Jim Pillen, and former Marine Corp veteran Michael Connely.
Republicans have held the governorship since 1999. The last Democrat to hold the office was Ben Nelson, who became a U.S. senator from 2001 to 2013. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win Nebraska was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
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