Governor candidate calls on Ricketts to fire prisons head

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Democratic gubernatorial hopeful and state Sen. Bob Krist is calling on Gov. Pete Ricketts to fire the head of Nebraska's corrections department.

Krist made the remarks Thursday outside the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, a southeast Nebraska prison that saw deadly outbreaks of violence in 2015 and 2017.

Krist says the state prison system "continues to spiral out of control" under Department of Correctional Services Director Scott Frakes.

Krist is waging an uphill campaign to unseat Ricketts, a Republican with a significant fundraising advantage in GOP-dominated Nebraska.

Krist also announced the endorsement of the Nebraska Association of Public Employees, NAPE/AFSCME Local 61, which represents frontline prison workers.

A Ricketts campaign spokesman says the corrections department has made tremendous strides under the governor's watch and calls Krist's comments "a desperate attack."

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