In a surprising turn of events, the Nebraska State Central Committee of the Republican Party has decided to endorse former Air Force Lt. Col. John Glen Weaver as the GOP challenger to incumbent Sen. Pete Ricketts, who was also a former governor of Nebraska. This endorsement comes after former President Donald Trump criticized Ricketts in 2022, labeling him a “RINO,” which stands for Republican in Name Only. It seems that Ricketts has fallen out of favor with the party establishment.
— Brett Murphy (@bmurphypointman) January 28, 2024
The committee also showed support for challengers in two congressional races, with Dan Frei challenging Rep. Don Bacon in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, and John Walz opposing Rep. Adrian Smith in the state’s 3rd Congressional District. This further reflects the ongoing revolt against incumbents within the party.
Weaver, the endorsed Senate challenger, expressed his desire to partner with the House Freedom Caucus if elected. He highlighted the passion of Nebraskans for saving the country and dismissed the notion that the committee’s decision was made by a bunch of “crazy people who got together in a room.”
Interestingly, Ricketts did not seek the party’s endorsement and declined to comment on the process. On the other hand, Bacon, who is being challenged in his congressional district, emphasized his record of results and his ability to reach across the aisle as a common-sense conservative. He remains confident that his conservative stance on key issues will prevail in the upcoming elections.
It’s clear that the Nebraska Republican Party is experiencing a shift in its support and a growing dissatisfaction with incumbents. The upcoming primaries and general elections will undoubtedly be closely watched to see if these challengers can successfully unseat their opponents.