The following responses have not been edited.
Name (also include name you’d prefer to be called):
Political Party: Democrat
Current or most recent profession: Small Business Owner/Property Investor
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am originally from David City, NE. My mother, Evelyn Pelan, is from Bruno, NE and my father, David Janicek, is from Bellwood, NE. I Grew up in a farming family and remember running lunch out to my grandpa in the field, tending to all of our animals with grandma and especially cooking and baking with grandma. I have two brothers and one sister. We eventually moved to Omaha where my father went to work for radio and television.
In Omaha I attended Mary Our Queen, Archbishop Ryan High School and the University of Nebraska Omaha. I am a small business owner, specializing in bakery cakes and weddings, and a property investor. I like to play sports, garden, travel, bake and restore historic homes. In the community I volunteer and donate my time to the Open Door Mission, Stephen Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Youth Emergency Services and the Nebraska Aids Project.
Why are you running for this office?
I am seeking the United States Senate seat to represent the people of Nebraska. We are sick and tired of politicians who care more about money and special interest than they do about us. I will immediately get to work on a healthcare system that is attainable and affordable for everyone. I will represent Nebraskans with respect, integrity and worth. My experience for public office is supported with my social, educational and business background. As a working class citizen I understand what the average person needs and what they are going through. I want to work for the people.
Do you support the actions taken by federal, state and local government officials to combat the spread of COVID-19? What, if any, changes would you propose?
The actions taken by federal, state and local governments are as good as the broader populations response. We all have a responsibility to do what is best for us and for us as a society. We should have starter sooner with cautions and warnings. We should have acquired more PPE for our hospitals and citizens. We should have invested in testing and access. But that is all behind us now and there is no going back. So let's move forward from where we are right now and what we have learned and know. We need testing, we need straightforward answers and we need to listen to the medical experts and pay attention to how other countries have handled this virus. The federal government must focus on rapid testing in cooperation with state governments. We would have been in front of this curve months ago if we had taken testing much more seriously. We cannot end it somewhere unless we end it everywhere.
What is your message to Nebraskans during this time of crisis?
Nebraskans are smart and sensible. We must listen and adhere to the warnings and the ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Follow the healthy guidelines issued, keep your face and nose covered if you are out and physically distance yourself. Wash your hands. Get to a doctor or hospital if you do not feel well or if you have been infected. Reach out and communicate with family and friends to help with loneliness and isolation. Stay at home and work on your "get things done list." We will get through this.
How will you support the economy now and after social distancing requirements end?
The federal government is addressing the financial strain on people and small business with disaster stimulus aid. I consider this just a down payment on much more aid to come that will be necessary to offset the set-back to our economy. Our state and local governments are on the frontline and will have to have help. A small sacrifice now will prevent much larger impact and destruction to our economy in the future especially if we do not prevent a resurgence of the virus. I would advocate right now for expanded SNAP (food) benefits for all citizens in addition to monthly financial help to keep us at home. This is not an individual problem and it will take all of us to share in the responsibility of our lives and economy after this has ended. We have to ensure no one is left behind. Government has a huge role to play in low cost loans, financial aid to the medical field, forgiveness for rent and mortgage payments and other financial burdens that will arise. This is a national problem. We all have to help our state and country when this is over. There will be a new normal for a while. Let's represent the best of what it means to be a Nebraskan.
What other issues facing voters are most important to you as a candidate?
I will work for our farmers and the farm economy. I want to end the tariffs through trade negotiation and better pricing for profits in our state. Farming and ranching make up 25% of our state economy. Our farmers deserve better. I want education to be treated as an investment, not an expense. The cost of higher education and student debt is crippling our education system and economy. Our Immigration system needs to be reformed immediately. We are spending hundreds of millions to detain and seperate families at our borders. Our country needs immigrants to work and contribute to our economy and tax base. This must be done legally, humanely and efficiently. Those that break and violate our laws will be deported. We must respect and work to solve climate change and environmental challenges to our world. New clean energy like wind, solar, geo-thermal, hydro and nuclear must be invested in to advert carbon emissions, and the destruction of our planet. Government has to start working again. We want a democracy to live in and a planet to live on.
Why do you consider yourself the best person to address the needs of Nebraska voters?
I have traveled the state of Nebraska to meet, speak and listen to the people that live here. I want to listen to the community, and deliver the solutions they are asking for. I launched our listening tour in September of 2019. We traveled to Scottsbluff, Gering, Bridgeport, Hastings, Kearney, Grand Island, Lexington, Auburn, North Platte, Broken Bow, and many other small communities and towns to let the people know that I am here to listen, to fix what keeps people up at night and to be accessible to all Nebraskans. Our current representatives forgot who they work for. It is time to vote them out.
What separates you from your primary challenger(s)? What about your potential general election challengers?
There are 6 other candidates in this race for the primary. I am the best one to represent the people. Our values, our struggles and our successes are all as important to me as they are to you. I want to go to work for you. Nebraska is my home, and yours. I want the best for all of us. I want us to thrive not just survive. As your Senator I have the opportunity to make policy everyday for all Nebraskans, for all Americans. Your current senator has failed. He represents himself and his own agenda. He represents power and money instead of the people. He voted over and over to take healthcare away from millions of Americans, including myself. He voted to take away pre-existing condition protections from millions more. It is time for a change, time to turn the page.
Is there any other message, statement or concern you’d like to address?
Thank you for reading and understanding the passion I have for the people of our state. I am seeking the U.S. Senate seat to represent you. I want to go to work for you. I will not make promises, I will make commitments to listen and meet with you, to understand your concerns, to be your voice and deliver the solutions you are asking for. This election is not about moving further right or moving further left. It is about moving our state and this country forward. My name is Chris Janicek, and I am asking for your Vote.