Republican Jim Pillen elected Nebraska governor

10/11 NOW's Bayley Bischof talks with Jim Pillen after he gave his acceptance speech to become Nebraska's next Governor.
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 9:07 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2022 at 11:45 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN/AP) - Republican Jim Pillen has defeated Democratic state Sen. Carol Blood to become the next governor of Nebraska.

The state hasn’t elected a Democrat as governor since 1994, and Pillen was the clear favorite on Tuesday after defeating eight other candidates, including one backed by former President Donald Trump, in a contentious spring primary.

Pillen is a hog farm owner and veterinarian from Columbus who also serves on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

He will replace Gov. Pete Ricketts, who couldn’t run for reelection because of term limits.

Pillen said his top priorities will be changing Nebraska’s property tax system by updating the way schools are funded and the way property values are assessed. He’s also put a big priority on maintaining what he calls “Nebraska’s conservative values”.

One of the first big decisions Pillen will face is deciding who to appoint to replace U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, who is expected to resign if the University of Florida chooses him to be its next president. Ricketts, who could be a candidate for the Senate job, said he would leave that decision to his successor.