Nebraska Politics


Pardon the title. As a card-carrying gay man, I’m required to quote Beyoncé lyrics several times a year, and I’m trying to meet quota.

Here’s the situation. I’m gonna need you to watch this music video before you proceed to the nuts and bolts of this here blog post. We’re going full female empowerment today, so I need you to get in the correct head space first.

Done? Wasn’t that fierce?

Well, we’re about to take fierce to a whole new level today. Because nothing is more fierce than women running for office because they’re HELLA FED UP with their country being run by Donald Trump’s insane version of The Patriarchy.

The May 15 primaries are quickly approaching here in the great state of TheBraska, and it’s time to talk about the quality women candidates we have running for office during this midterm cycle.

And boy howdy, are there a lot of them.

Deb Fischer, you don’t count. And I’m sorry to even bring up this Trump Muppet in a female empowerment article, but an article about Nebraska women in politics would be grossly incomplete without mentioning Nebraska’s first female US Senator.

To say she’s a disappointment to feminists is an epic understatement.

Anyone remember when Fischer said she was having a town hall in Lincoln? Then when she realized she would actually face an angry mob after her constant rubber-stamping of Trumplethinskin’s policies and appointments, she made it a re-election event at the last minute and wouldn’t allow anyone who didn’t agree with her in? Yeah, a room full of fellow bootlickers is where Deb Fischer feels most at home.

Remember when Fischer’s office received thousands of calls begging her not to confirm Betsy Devosbut she did it anyway? Or not to strip away healthcare from millions of people, but she did it anyway? Or to seriously just, for once, vote with her conscience instead of the Good Old Boys Club?

Of course, Sarah Palin saying you’re not a member of said club is a pretty good indication that you are, so what did any of us really expect?

Deb Fischer’s entire senate career thus far has been a profile in cowardice. May the blue wave return her to the hinterlands to once again enjoy the acres she stole from her neighbor.

Thankfully, we have many an opportunity to right the wrongs of Ms. Fischer If You’re Faschy.

First up, let’s discuss the incredible, amazing woman running on the Dem ticket.

Jane Raybould is the Scott Frost of Nebraska politics.

Jane Raybould is the real deal, Nebraska. If I had to come up with a bad metaphor, I’d say she’s the female Scott Frost of politics. She might be able to save Nebraska from our soul-crushing mediocrity.

She’s a job creator, a businesswoman, a collaborator, and — most importantly — a human being with a conscience and a soul, which puts her well above the likes of Koch-brothers-sellout Fischer. She is refusing to accept any money from the NRA, which gives me wings.

Raybould currently serves on the Lincoln City Council, and she’s the vice president of her family’s local grocery store business, which employs about 2,000 people statewide. She’s basically a shoo-in during the primary, but has an uphill battle running for senate in this red, red state. But don’t despair. She’s a sleeper candidate who’s putting in the work to win in November.

Speaking of putting in WORK, look no further than the female candidates for House here in the eastern part of the state, Kara Eastman and Jessica McClure.

Seeing Red, as a collective, unanimously endorses both women in their respective primary races. Not because there’s anything wrong with their male opponents per se, but these women are phenomenal and are putting in the work. Work that we all believe will translate to general election success.

Which, correct me if I’m wrong, is kind of the objective, right?

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Probably someone from Kara Eastman’s campaign team.

Let’s start with Kara Eastman in the 2nd district first. I reached out to her recently, and her response was on friggin’ point. I asked what sets her apart. Check out this response:

“I am a lifelong Democrat. I have always been against the Keystone XL, for DACA, for the ACA, and pro-choice. I’m running a grassroots campaign with a strong, positive message. I’m also bilingual in English and Spanish, and in favor of the expanded Medicare for all bill.”

And then my favorite part: “We’ve knocked 40,000 doors in my campaign.”

Um. WUT.

During the primary race alone, Eastman’s team has knocked 40,000 DOORS Y’ALL. This is the ambition and work it takes to get elected. I was Team Eastman before I even knew that fact. She’s a trained social worker, the CEO of Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance non-profit, and the vice chair of the Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors.

This Jessica McClure has never fallen into a well, I promise.

Jessica McClure (not the toddler who fell down a well in 1987; don’t worry, I asked) is working hard to make sure she gets elected in the 1st district too. When she first started researching running for office, she got slapped with the cold hand of misogyny right away when people told her that because she’s a mom, she’d probably be too tired to do this properly.

I’m sorry. Come again?

She ignored those folks, thank Goddess.

Jessica McClure is a scientist, and has worked in federal regulations through the EPA, FDA, USDA and some other acronyms too, probably. When Jeff Fortenhair decided to vote to repeal the ACA (yay, another acronym!) Jessica was like OMGWTF.

Okay, not really.

Jessica got mad and Jessica got busy. As the mother of a little girl who had been struggling with her health, she was disgusted that the repeal of the ACA would have meant millions would lose their insurance. So she organized events that focused on civic engagement and got to work. Then she later filed to run for Congress.

“I realized that no one was going to work as hard as I will for our health care,” she explained. Jessica’s team has been putting in the hours phone banking like crazy to win the primary. She’s also been endorsed by the Nebraska Democratic Women’s Caucus, and another caucus near and dear to my heart, the Nebraska Democratic Party-affiliated LGBTQIA caucus.

Jessica, when I go to the polls here in Lincoln, you’ve got my vote.

Woo! Aren’t they incredible? Before we go any further, though, I’d like to personally thank the man responsible for getting a record number of women to file for office in 2018.

“Believe me, all these women are running for office for a chance to meet me. No one gets women to run for office better than me.”

That delectable piece of Grade F Trump Steak Sirloin So Good You Can Eat It With Ketchup has gotten women involved. An historic 575 women have declared for House or Senate races this year, ready to fight back against Mango Mussolini and the bootlickers who’ve enabled him to run roughshod over the rules of law and common decency in our country.

And we are all the better for these women, who see atrocities and commit to change them.

Who run the world?

Well, currently it’s white men with really bad intentions.

But in the words of Beyoncé:

“Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation.”

And into higher office.


In addition to the big national races this year, Seeing Red has some other really great Nebraska women we’d like to throw our support behind.

Judy Pederson, Legislative District 42

You know how it’s long been said that somebody/anybody should take away Trump’s access to Twitter because he comes across as a cantankerous jerk with only a sixth-grade education and a penchant for just not understanding facts or even bothering to read? Well, the same can be said for state senator Mike Groene’s email account. But thankfully, there is hope. Republican Judy Pederson launched a write-in campaign for legislature. We’re not above endorsing a Republican, especially one who sounds as phenomenal as Pederson. She’s worked hard in North Platte to bring about progress, and currently serves on the NRD there. She can get on the general election ballot if enough folks fill in the oval for a write-in and put her name. Frankly, nothing would be more satisfying than seeing Groene throw the AM radio that tells him he lost to a write-in candidate.

Megan Hunt and Mina Davis, District 8

Both Omaha women deserve to advance to the general election, so we’re just endorsing both of them. Both are outspoken, civic-minded small business owners. Frankly, they’re both so phenomenal we can’t and won’t choose. Send them both on to the general election!

Machaela Cavanaugh, District 6

A mother of two girls, Cavanaugh wants to see a Nebraska that gives her girls and other children across the state more opportunities to achieve their dreams. As a gay dad of two awesome girls (and an awesome boy), I salute her for her candidacy. She also mentions she’d invest in education, protect our seniors, and work at growing the good-paying jobs of the future.

Stephanie Malcolm, District 44

I’ve known Stephanie (Steph) for roughly 22 years, and I love that she’s tossed her hat into this race. A small business owner in my hometown, a teacher, and a mother, she is honestly one of the best people I know. She’s ambitious, intelligent, hilarious, and compassionate. She cited Seeing Red as her inspiration for getting involved, which I could not be happier about. Steph, you’ve got our unanimous endorsement and absolute admiration.

Patty Pansing-Brooks, District 28

Our unicameral unicorn. The people’s senator. Literally the best of the best in the Nebraska legislature. This woman deserves to be elected a million times over. We honestly don’t deserve her, but please don’t ever tell her that.

The list of excellent female candidates goes on:

Christa Yoakum, Public Service Commission

Susan Lorence, District 2

Shannon Coryell, District 4

Wendy DeBoer, District 10

Jackie Collett, District 20

Chris Anne Dienstbier, District 20

Stephanie Nantkes, District 24

Marsha Fangmeyer, District 38

Julie Thomsen, District 40

Maureen Nickels and Deb Neary, State Board of Education

Elizabeth O’Connor and Barbara Weitz, Board of Regents

Jane Skinner,  Auditor

Check out the NDP’s candidate list here to see a full list of primary candidates.