Interview with Carol Blood, candidate for Nebraska Governor

The Democratic candidate for Governor is running against Republican Jim Pillen and Libertarian Scott Zimmerman
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 4:44 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2022 at 4:51 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - 10/11 NOW sat down with Carol Blood, Democratic candidate for Governor ahead of the election.

Bayley Bischof, 10/11 NOW: If there’s a viewer out there who doesn’t know anything about you, but is trying to decide who they want to vote for for Governor, what would you want them to know about you?

Carol Blood, running for Governor: I was born in McCook, Nebraska and raised on a farm outside of Hastings, Nebraska. Our family farm is actually in Clay Center, Nebraska and I raised my own family, three adult children and 10 awesome grandchildren in Sarpy County, Nebraska. I’ve known since the fourth grade that I wanted to be a Nebraska State Senator. But to be really frank, never planned on being a governor. But that was until I saw the primary and after the seventh or eighth person threw their hat in the ring, it was very clear to me that everybody was playing on the same playbook, a playbook of smoke and mirrors, where they tell you everything that’s wrong, that needs to be fixed, but nobody can tell you how they’re going to fix it. To be really honest, the rhetoric of us versus them is not the Nebraska that I grew up in and so I thought, I’m gonna throw my hat in the ring at the very least, I’m going to move that needle a little bit back to what it was like when I was a kid, where we would extend grace and listen first to understand, and we really didn’t care what party you represented, we just cared that you could actually do the job. I always tell people the story of when we would come in off the farm and go to the coffee shop and you would listen to your parents talk about politics, and you never heard a cuss word before the word party, right? It was always what’s your Jim Exon gonna do for the farmers this year? Or, you know, what’s the Governor gonna do for the middle class? It was never ever about party and if it was about party, it was never negative. I really feel passionate about trying to get Nebraska moved back into that direction.

Bayley Bischof: One of your main campaign slogans was that “Nebraska needs New Blood.” What does that mean to you? What new do you hope to take into being Governor if you were to be elected?

Carol Blood: When we say we need “New Blood” in Nebraska, we like to remind people that when you vote for more of the same, you get more of the same. We’ve had high property taxes for 25 years, prison overcrowding, we’ve invested in really bad contracts like the recent St. Francis contract where our most vulnerable children and their families have fallen through the cracks. I don’t know why people don’t understand that we can’t keep doing this. We have people who tell you, they’re going to tighten the purse strings and you know, we’re going to cut down that budget. Well, here’s the problem. When you’re constantly cut cut cutting, which has been done for the last 20-25 years, those problems that I just mentioned are exactly what happens. When you budget you have to plan, you know, you keep hearing this rhetoric about, oh, well, we’re gonna run government like a business. Well, if you were to cut your budget in a business without a plan, your business would not last very long. So I think that Nebraskans are really at a point where they’re sick of the word vomit, they are sick and tired of being told that their property taxes are going to go down. But nobody ever tells them how they’re going to do it. And it’s always someone else’s fault. It’s not the state’s fault. They’re sick and tired of the middle class carrying the biggest burden of taxes than anybody in Nebraska and nobody seems to care. But yet we can give tax breaks to the wealthy and to big corporations. So to be really frank, people are fed up, they’re angry, and they just don’t believe what comes out of politicians mouths anymore and that’s why when we say “New Blood,” that means, you know, we’re here for change. But most importantly, I have been the only candidate from day one that has come out with a plan.

Bayley Bischof: What do you want to do differently with property taxes?

Carol Blood: With property taxes, we have known for 25 years that the underlying cause is unfunded and underfunded mandates, and not fully funding our schools. When Ben Nelson was governor, he had two studies done- one was in reference to schools and one was in reference to counties. Those are available online, by the way if you search for them, and it’s basically said that no matter what policy that you tweak or that you bring forward, you’ll never have real property tax relief unless you stop these unfunded and underfunded mandates and fully fund the schools. So to put it in a very brief synopsis, an example would be the mandates that we passed down for our counties, for example, Johnson County where Tecumseh State Prison is located is a very small county as far as population goes and so they have a limited budget to get their stuff done, be it to plow their roads, or to gravel the roads. When an inmate dies in a state prison, it’s the county who has to pay for that autopsy. It’s also the county who has to pay for the grand jury investigation. If you roll forward to Sarpy County, the fastest growing county where I live in Nebraska, when you bring a state judge to our county, we pay for their office space for their office staff for their utilities. That all comes out of the pockets of the county. Now that may not sound like much but in Sarpy County, it’s tens of millions of dollars in unfunded mandates and they’re trying to keep their budget balanced. So if we keep forcing this on them, and it’s a mandate, so they have to do it and then we also took away what was called aid to local government back in the last recession, and we promised that we would reinstate it and we never did. That used to balance it out and that’s almost exactly the time when you started seeing your property taxes soar. If we can stop those mandates and quit putting those burdens on local governments and political subdivisions, then we have a bargaining chip to start working with the counties when it comes to things like assessments. Now, when it comes to our schools, we have a big issue with the TEEOSA formulas. The TEEOSA formula is antiquated. People don’t really understand it and it doesn’t work and it hasn’t worked for a very long time. So in order for us to fix school funding, it’s going to take not a new formula, but it’s going to take multiple solutions in order for us to move that forward. So, again, stop unfunded mandates for our political subdivisions, our counties or municipalities and our schools. If we can do those things and balance things, right the ship, we can finally lower property taxes. If we can’t do those things, they’re just playing shell games right now with the taxes and to be really frank, if you look at the big celebration they had on income taxes this last session, the average Nebraskan like you and I got back like $7 whole dollars so like we got enough to buy a hamburger, but not the fries and drink. And we fought to try and change that out of floor. So I’ve walked away from this session because of this and several other things that happen in reference to taxes, truly believing that nobody really wants to lower your property taxes, because if they did, what would they run on every two years? We even had a tax modernization committee come and talk to Nebraska 10 or 12 years ago, before I was ever a senator, and they clearly said never to make tax policy in an election cycle. But yet, when do we always make tax policy? In an election cycle. So I think it’s really time that Nebraskans know the truth, the big lie about property taxes and that is is what we were just talking about.

Bayley Bischof: In your one of your campaign ads, you talked about prioritizing everyday Nebraskans over big business. What does that mean to you? Why is that important?

Carol Blood: Well, that is actually a song that was written for my campaign. And it’s more of an anthem than an ad just to kind of clarify that. So when we talk about big businesses we’re talking about Mead, Nebraska and the AltEn plant. So all of our ethanol plants are pristine and respectable, but this one was an outlier. So I think it’s really important that people know this. So the AltEn plant and Mead, Nebraska made Nebraskans collateral damage, that’s what we’re talking about in our campaign anthem. So when I say that, it’s because Nebraska, who is complicit by the way, this is our Flint, Michigan, cited this plant 13 times. Imagine if you were drunk driving 13 times do you think you’d be able to get away with it with like, no repercussions whatsoever? So we kept knocking on the doors telling them to do something better. What they were doing is they took in 98% of the waste seed corn in the whole United States and it was dumped there. So they could make ethanol with it, make a clear profit because they didn’t have to pay for it. They got it for free. But the seed corn was coated in neonicotinoids, which is actually banned in a lot of other countries because it’s dangerous. So these neonicotinoids were in the seed, they made the ethanol, the ethanol creates a byproduct called wet cake. Wet cake, in most ethanol plants is something that’s very nutrient dense, you can feed it to cattle, you can apply it on to farmland, it’s a really good thing. But when those neonicotinoids are in it, you can’t do anything with it, because it’s poisonous. What this plant did was they stored it next to their property, without anything underneath it, without anything on top of it, a giant pile of poisonous waste the size of Memorial Stadium. So eventually people started complaining in the community. They were getting skin rashes, animals were dying. The insects are disappearing, plants are dying. We heard about ulceration and respiratory issues. I mean, it was really scary. But Nebraska didn’t shut them down until they’d been cited 13 times and then they had a pipe break, things went into the waterways. Now we know that those chemicals are heading towards Lancaster County towards Lincoln’s water system. What’s crazy about all of this is that they were half a million dollars behind in their property taxes and Nebraska still gave them CARES funds. So when we talk about fighting big business, we’re talking about big business that purposely hurts Nebraskans that makes them collateral damage, because the thing that I find to be the most concerning about all of this is that we could have prevented it from happening the first time we cited them. Now we have people that are trying to sell their homes that can’t sell their homes, that we know that the next generation will likely have infertility issues, brain tumors, cancers. The smell is horrible. Like if it’s your first time in the community, your eyes are going to water, your nose is going to plug up. It’s gotten a little bit better. To be really frank, the only solution they’ve come up with so far is to put something called a poly shield on it, which was a concrete and fiber lid. Now scientists are saying that underneath it, since there’s still nothing under the chemicals it’s creating a type of witch’s brew. So what ends up being the final chemical may be even more dangerous than what they started with. So it was never my district but they came to me because nobody would talk to them about it and to be really frank our governor hasn’t stepped foot in there one time. So I think it’s really important when people face natural disasters, man made disasters, fires, floods, pandemics, that our executive branch is present and we haven’t seen that in a really long time.

Bayley Bischof: What are some of your other top priorities that you would take into being Governor?

Carol Blood: So I’m running on four pillars and the four pillars are running on our education, infrastructure, that everybody has the right to be well and feel safe, and prosperity for all.

So prosperity for all we talked about the property tax issue, but we also need to find a way to build generational wealth for 18-to-34 year old’s who are going to be driving our economy. If we want to slow down rural depopulation, and we want to keep young people in this state, there is a formula that we can do to make sure that that happens. And that would include affordable housing, there’s a huge difference between workforce housing and affordable housing. Nebraska has invested in a lot of workforce housing, but not so much affordable housing, we’ve recently passed legislation that’s gonna start holding municipalities accountable for that. Affordable housing is 30% of your income. So it is the difference between building a house for somebody to live in that they can’t afford when they’re working as opposed to living in a house that they can afford, we also need to work with local municipalities on building codes, and ordinances because there are a lot of things that we can make easier for people to retrofit older buildings and make them livable for folks that actually reside in that might have been former businesses. There are some pay down programs as well that we can work with local municipalities on. But we also need to, I think, bring forward universal childcare for those with families. They just did that in Colorado, they already do that in Oklahoma, that relieves the childcare burden, making sure also that our childcare workers have a fair wage. Right now, they make less than people make at McDonald’s. But yet, those are those are people that take care of our children before kindergarten. We need to have fun things for them do and see. We need accessible transportation, and health care, to name just a few things and things we need to do for the young people.

Then if you move to infrastructure, this is where my opponent and I differ. I believe that we do need to invest in our roads and our bridges. We have a lot of two lane highways all over Nebraska. In the 80′s we promised those municipalities and those counties that we will expand to for both north south east and west that we need to start bonding and fix. We’re only one or two states in the United States that doesn’t bond our road projects. By bonding, we’re able to actually save taxpayer dollars because as bond rates change, we can revisit it when they get lower and save a ton of money. But more importantly, we can get get this stuff done once and for all. Infrastructure also refers to broadband. When we first tried to address a broadband issue, Nebraska really just threw money at the problem and then we were like, well, why don’t we have broadband yet. So I will give credit to the legislature because the last few years, we did put a point person in place and now we have metrics, which again is another reason that we end up throwing money at things. We don’t measure what we treasure, so now there’s metrics, now we’re getting closer to doing better for broadband. The federal funds are making sure that we also have funds not only for rural areas, but for our areas that may be lower income. So we can make sure that those kids especially they’re in school have access to broadband. But we also should be investing, researching things like satellite options, because we know in the next three to four years that we’ll be able to get our broadband from satellite, which for our more rural areas can be a huge coup. Then also when it comes to infrastructure, we really have to invest more in technology. We talk about our workforce shortage, which by the way, if you’re in my generation, we were told 25 years ago, on you know, the five o’clock news, in newspapers and on on the radio that we’re gonna have a workforce shortage and 20-25 years, because the baby boomers are aging out. But Nebraska, ignored that and never planned for what was going to happen. And now, like we just talked about with the previous issue, we’re just throwing money at the problem. So we need to start listening to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Offutt Air Force Base. We have a lot of hubs here that have to do with technology and we need to start utilizing more A.I., artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, robots, co-bots. Those can help us with our workforce issues and also help us keep the young people in our state, because they’re interesting jobs that pay well and also help move us forward because we’re always the last to the table when it comes to technology. Nebraska needs to put on his big boy pants and really like move forward when it comes to tech.

So when I talk about education, I believe in a PK through 14 education. We talked a little bit about universal childcare, so I won’t cover that again. But when I say PK through 14, we have invested tens of millions of dollars recently into our community colleges. So I believe that every child, that’s a high school senior, should be offered up to two years of free college at any of our community colleges. Because a four year path is not for every child. But what’s awesome about it is it’s going to solve two problems. First of all, it’s going to help our young people get into the workforce within a more reasonable amount of time, they can get a six month certification, a one or two year degree in I.T., in the trades, in healthcare, and Ag and walk into jobs that have, that are good pay, that have benefits and that have retirement. You know, we talked about generational wealth, we need to give them the bill of ability, because our generation had that ability to build generational wealth. If they build generational wealth, while they’re gainfully employed here in Nebraska, they are more likely to stay in Nebraska and put down roots. We always hear that the reason 18 to 34 year olds are leaving Nebraska is because of property taxes. Young people can’t even afford to buy houses in Nebraska, let alone worry about their property taxes and even when they do buy those houses, it’s usually part of their payment. And so they really don’t identify that they’re paying the property taxes, not because they’re not smart, it’s just not in the forefront. And so I feel very strongly about that and as I said earlier, we need to fully fund our schools, we need to come up with a final solution that is not re-figuring the TEEOSA formula. It’s really unfortunate when our schools that don’t get funding from the state have to depend on the wealthiest landowners in order to pay for their schools. There are equitable ways that we can do that and fix that, but it’s not going to be one solution, it’s going to be three solutions, together that we can make it better, fair and equitable across the state because every child has value every school has value. They shouldn’t have to worry about how they’re going to pay their bills, we just need to worry about our kids.

Then the last thing of my key issues are that everybody has the right to be well and feel safe. Well, a lot of people in Nebraska don’t know is that the state literally defunded the Law Enforcement Training Center here in Nebraska, which is a huge concern. Because outside of the Lincoln police, the Omaha police, the Nebraska State Patrol, everybody else is trained at the Grand Island Law Enforcement Training Center. What happened was, you know, with this cut cut cutting that we keep talking about with no real plan, even though money was allocated to upgrade the facility and to hire new staff. The executive branch asked them not to spend those funds and so what happened was, there would be a three-month, six-month, nine-month waiting list because they only trained a handful of times a year, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but think about it. We talked about the baby boomers aging out, that’s especially true in our first-responders. So say it’s a Sheriff’s Department, a small Sheriff’s Department, there’s only two or three employees. Baby Boomers aged out, they had to hire two new employees. They can’t hit the streets unless they’re trained. So what would happen is they would lose those employees. They go to bigger municipalities, they would go to other states and it became a crisis not only for the training, but really it endangered our citizens. Now I will I will give snaps to to the governor. We did take ARPA funds finally and fixed it this year and did a big ribbon cutting and brouhaha. But that doesn’t change the fact that this languished for years again, we keep letting things fester and then we throw money at it we could have resolved this years ago, in Sarpy County, it became so dangerous because again, fastest growing county in the state that we started our own Law Enforcement Training Center. So now Papillion, Bellevue, LaVista, Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Department all work together and all pay a portion of it and then we train our own employees. Shouldn’t have had to be that way, though. But we weren’t going to endanger our communities not having a fully staffed police department. So that’s part of when I talk about people feeling safe. Also, I think law enforcement will be the first to tell you that they are not psychologists and when they come upon somebody who’s having a mental health crisis, they don’t really have the tools to help that person. We have known for a very long time that we needed to have more health care facilities when it comes to not just physical health, but mental health as well. So what often happens is if they’re lucky, they can find a bed for that person but those beds are usually only for two to three days. What will happen and lots of times in those clinics or hospitals is they’ll say okay, ‘Bobby, you’re on day two, we’ve started you on new medication. Do you promise us you’re going to take it?” Of course Bobby says “Yes, I’m going to take my medication” and they release them on the second or third day, and when they release them and we know that lots of times with mental health medications that can take a month, six months a year for it to really take effect. So what happens is we create this revolving door, we’re constantly picking Bobby up. And what happens sometimes is it escalates, which is dangerous for law enforcement, dangerous for the community, and dangerous for Bobby. And that person may often end up in the correction system, the pipeline to the prison, which is not where they belong, because we don’t have services to provide them through the prison system either. So it’s, it’s something that we have to address that we’ve let fester. And if we don’t fix it soon, it’s going to be an even bigger crisis, because we see especially the magnitude of homeless people that we see on the streets now, we know there’s a large majority of them that have mental health issues that they’re dealing with.

So when we’re talking about the prison system, too, we’ve set aside money for a new facility. But if we’re doing it to build our way out of the problem, we’re never going to be able to build our way out of the problem. I worked for the state prison system for six years, maximum security. So I’ve had I have a different view than most of the senators on the floor right now. And as governor, I don’t think we’ve really had anybody who has a realistic view of what happens behind the walls. We did address the issue when it came to pay for the workers, which is great but again, long past due, we let it fester. And then it became dangerous for both the staff and the inmates. But we have this weird myth that we tell everybody that we’re being tough on crime when we incarcerate all criminals. I think we should I know based on polling that like 64% of all Nebraskans think that when someone commits a crime, they should be punished. But almost that exact same amount of people think we’re rehabilitating them which we are not because all the cut cut cutting we’ve done. So what happens is $45,000 to $50,000 a year incarcerated an inmate, a lot of them are non-violent. So we could have kept them out of prison, and then other types of diversion programs for them. Because they don’t have the rehabilitation they need many of them have to jam out, which means they have to do all of their sentence and then we dumped them back into the communities where they came from. So we started this revolving door of recidivism because we’re not rehabilitating them. We’re wasting taxpayer dollars because we’re not rehabilitating them. We’re not really giving them a new chance in life because one day these folks are going to be your neighbors. So right now we only have like 32 pre-trial diversion programs, we have a really great one for veterans. I’m by Offutt Air Force Base so it’s one I’m partial to. When you have serious illnesses like PTSD you make bad decisions sometimes. So for me, a pre-trial diversion program allows them to get the mental health help they need. If they need substance abuse, help, they have better supervision in pre-trial diversion programs, you pay a lot less than you would to incarcerate them and you give them the opportunity to stay out of prison. Which means that we also have to do a better job of rehabilitating within these institutions and we need better bridge programs. So when we’re released them, we know that they’re going into an environment that is either better or more productive than than when they came from it. So it’s um, it’s not safe to continually put people in prison and not rehabilitate them. It’s not being tough on crime. It’s been tough on crime if we rehabilitate them. And to be quite frank, we are the most populated prison system, overcrowded system in the whole United States that is nothing to be proud of.

Then in reference to to being well, we talked about mental health a little bit. We need to continue to invest in things like telemedicine, which is why broadband is so important out in the rural areas. We need to continue to find ways to bring people into the workplace to work in health care, not just from out of the state but within the state. We have a lot of people during the pandemic that retired early that we can bring back into the workforce. Instead, we’re going out to other states trying to find folks, when we actually have a pretty strong workforce here that we can still tap into. We talked about the PK the 12 through 14 we get people certified certain things that they get to work on or get an early head start on maybe a nursing degree. So and no college debt for those first two years, which is awesome. But we also need to learn to be kinder to our healthcare workers and our teachers by the way. We’ve become this weird society where we have demonized people that are very important to our health and well being. Not to mention our children’s health and well being. I was actually toured COVID unit where people were literally dying and you know how our people believe whatever they believe about COVID I respect but if you are literally dying from COVID and denying it, and you’re in the hospital throwing things at doctors and nurses demanding for a second opinion, or, you know, just I don’t I don’t understand. I saw our nurses leaving and there’d be protesters outside the hospital. Do they have the right to protest? They do. But do they have the right? When people have been working, you know, the beginning of the pandemic, people weren’t couldn’t even go home to their kids. And they’d be working, you know, 24-hour days sometimes. That I mean, that’s crazy. We’ve got to bring that compassion and respect. We don’t have to all agree but goodness gracious, when did we think it was okay to ever treat another human being that way right? We’ve kind of gone off the deep end, when it comes to how we treat healthcare professionals and teachers. And both of those professions have a very high suicide rate as a result of it, which again, doesn’t help our workforce in any way. They’re short staffed and they’re short staffed because gosh, who wants to work in an environment and people treat you bad all day long. So I think I think we can do better, I know we can do better.

And the way we’re going to do all these things. And a long list of other ideas that I have, is we’re gonna do something called strategic planning, we are going to create a living, breathing document, that’s going to be our map to success. I’m going to travel all over Nebraska, just like I’m doing now for my campaign anyway. And we’ll be meeting with the residents of Nebraska, during a time when they can actually attend and not invite only is what usually happens. And we want to hear from all of our communities and say, Okay, what are your top three priorities? Is it roads and bridges? Is it healthcare? Is it mental health? Is it law enforcement? Does your law enforcement need better training or help in any way? What’s most important to the area where you live? Is it property taxes, and then we’ll take the top three from every community that we go to, and then we’ll bring it back to Lincoln. We’ll put together a strategy and then we’ll mirror our budget to match that strategy. What’s really exciting about it is our plan is the voice. They’re the voices of Nebraska, no matter who you are, where you live, where you come from, or what you look like, you get to have a say so in what we do with your tax dollars, and then every single year, we’re gonna report back to you, this is what we have accomplished. This is what we’re going to accomplish soon. This is what we haven’t accomplished and why. So you’ll know exactly what we’re doing with your dollars, exactly how we’re moving Nebraska forward. But more importantly, this weird cut, cut cutting to try and balance a budget doesn’t need to be done if we actually plan for our budget. You know, if we know, for instance, just think about if they’d done that 20-25 years ago, when they knew we’re gonna have a workforce shortage, right? You would ultimately plan for that in advance, set aside money funds to make sure that you had that address be it helping people get trained, be it how to keep people in the workforce like we could have gotten ahead of this. Instead, we wait again, until it festers and throws money at it, there’s not going to be any more of that. It’s ridiculous. So if we want to lower property taxes, if we want to change how we fund education, if we want to make sure their infrastructure is strong, we’ve got to have a plan. And that’s how we’re going to accomplish all of this.

Bayley Bischof: So just how are you feeling three weeks out from election day?

Carol Blood: You know, back in June, we had a really big spread between my opponent and I, and we’ve been working really hard to close it. As you know, the recent survey that went out the recent polling actually has us within striking distance and we’re feeling very positive about that. You know, we we don’t have millions. I’m not trying to buy my way into office. We have run our campaign on about 3% of what my opponent has spent. But you know, I won four campaigns that I was told I would never win and I was always outspent but I have never been out worked. We have been working hard, traveling all over Nebraska since last September. We’re hearing so much positive and really no negative. What’s different with our town halls is we don’t just invite one party, we invite everybody. So we do have Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, nonpartisan, at all of our town halls, which is kind of exciting. But I, you know, we feel good. We, we don’t know what’s going to happen. But we can tell you that we’ve worked really hard. And we’ve talked about solutions the whole time. I’ve never changed my messaging. It’s been the same same since the day I announced. When I’m asked the hard questions, I like to make sure that I answer them. The only downside, I think, to this campaign is the fact that my opponent won’t debate me. He refuses to debate me, he said in a public forum a couple of weeks ago that he would love to debate her but risk assessment tells him that it’s not a good idea. So you know, I, I don’t have handlers. As you, you know, you see, I came in here by myself, I’m a big girl, I can do this by myself. I always wonder who’s the candidate? Is it the people running the campaign? Is it the person who is the candidate? Nobody likes to do public speaking its a scary thing, but it’s a necessary evil when you’re running for office. I think that it’s a slap in the face a democracy, when candidates can’t come to a forum together, debate together, people need to see us side-by-side. Also I don’t think it’s, it’s right when candidates pick and choose which media outlets they’re willing to talk to. We keep having opportunities for us to be on shows together, to be in forums together, but my opponent will refuse based on on who the news outlet is. So that’s really, it’s really unfortunate, because I think it devalues you as a voter, saying that, here’s the TV stations that you must watch in order to find out anything about me. Or to say, you know, you don’t get the right to see a side by side and so you better hope that if there’s a crisis, be it fire, flood, pandemic, that I can think on my feet, because I can’t I don’t have to prove to you that I can do that. You know, it’s part of our job interview to debate at least once and you think, look at the Historic State Fair, right, we always have Gubernatorial debates at the State Fair and it’s been turning points for campaigns too. So I just, you know, and I see it’s starting to be like a nationwide trend. I just think it’s really, it’s just really shame that people think they can just buy their way into office and not not be beholden to the voters. So that’s really been the only downside is the lack of debate. We’ve been willing to, to debate we’ve said yes to every opportunity we’ve had. You know, quite frankly, I just I think it’s sad, and it’s not the Nebraska way.

Bayley Bischof: Nebraska hasn’t had a Democratic governor since 1999 and it seems in recent history, people are voting with their party. What would be your message to the majority of Nebraska voters who are registered Republicans about why they should should vote outside of that their party lines?

Carol Blood: Well, I go back to when you vote for more of the same, you get more of the same. You know, statewide candidates can’t win without the rural vote especially and what I think’s really interesting is that once they get that vote, and then they come to Lincoln, they completely forget about rural Nebraska. Then they run again, and they get reelected again. So I asked people to look at my track record, you can see some of the bills that I’ve brought forward on I’ve had more bills passed for our veterans and military families than anybody in that entire body. I did vote for the two biggest property tax relief bills in the history of Nebraska, which isn’t saying much because your property taxes are still high, by the way. I have had more interstate compacts passed that remove hurdles to employment in the health care industry than any policymaker in the whole country. So I’m really proud of my track record. I’ve gotten a lot done, by, you know, reaching across the aisle and working together because I am the minority and you can’t get things done in the legislature with only the minority vote. But I can tell you that eight successful years on the Bellevue City Council, two terms in the Nebraska Legislature, I understand how government works and I understand how government should work. If people are sick and tired of the same old thing, how nothing ever changes and no one ever hears their voices. Maybe it’s time for “New Blood” in Nebraska.

To watch 10/11′s interviews with Republican Jim Pillen click here, to watch the interview with Libertarian Scott Zimmerman click here.

For more information about the election, visit 10/11′s Voter’s Guide.