Matt Innis challenging Sen. Ben Sasse in Republican primary
Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 1:12 PM CDT
The following responses have not been edited. Name (also include name you’d prefer to be called): Matt Innis Political Party: Republican Current or most recent profession: I have owned my own electric cabling company for 20 years Tell us a little about yourself: My family moved to Lincoln in 1981 and I grew up there. Attended Lincoln public schools. I served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years. I have two brothers. My wife, Lisa, and I have been married for 26 years and we have four children. Why are you running for this office? When my opponent made it clear he would never support President Trump in 2016 it bothered me. His words were used by Hillary Clinton’s campaign against President Trump. To this day my opponent will not say he will vote for President Trump. Given the alternative(s) to President Trump, I can’t see how any Nebraska Republican could support anyone but President Trump for re-election. I believe when you are elected to federal office and go off to Washington, DC, you still have an obligation to Nebraskans to continue listening to their concerns. I hear from people all over the state that they haven’t seen my opponent in six years since the last campaign. Radio stations tell me he will not do interviews anymore. People do see his empty bus driving around our state though. 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? I worry that our “cure” may end up being worse than the disease from an economic perspective. People without jobs – many that provide health insurance coverage – can suffer from other health issues, as well as have to deal with COVID-19. What is your message to Nebraskans during this time of crisis? People should follow the guidelines set forth by federal and state officials. It is good hygiene during flu season to wash hands and social distance anyway, so maybe people will be more aware of that every year now. I agree with President Trump that we need to get the economy going as soon as we can. People are hurting in this state with record unemployment applications in recent weeks, and the economic pain could last longer than the effects of the COVID-19. How will you support the economy now and after social distancing requirements end? The current virus pandemic facing the world will likely not be the last. The economy under President Trump was performing very well with unemployment at historic lows for virtually every labor group. We have seen how this virus – and the steps taken to address it – have hurt our economy. This is a national security issue. I do not like the government spending trillions of dollars and going further into debt, but the steps taken so far were needed first steps to address pending economic issues. I hear a lot about protecting our 2nd Amendment rights, and I think that is very important. I oppose red flag laws because they haven’t come up with one that is Constitutional so far. What other issues facing voters are most important to you as a candidate? As I listen to people around the state, Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a huge issue for our livestock community. They are getting hurt by low prices right now and they have a premium product to promote in Nebraska beef. If we have COOL on dog food and dog toys, don’t consumers have the right to know where meat for human consumption comes from? Nebraskans are also upset that my opponent quit his Senate Agriculture Committee assignment for something more glamorous. I would be proud to serve on the Agriculture Committee representing Nebraska’s top industry. Why do you consider yourself the best person to address the needs of Nebraska voters? It is critical for our elected officials to listen to Nebraskans and their concerns, and my opponent has failed to do that. He has become a part of the “swamp” in Washington, DC. He has written two books while a member of the Senate, but he won’t do public appearances in the state where people can talk to him and ask him questions. I hear that all the time. I will be a fiscal and social conservative and I support our 2nd Amendment rights. What separates you from your primary challenger(s)? What about your potential general election challengers? I mentioned some differences previously. I support President Trump’s re-election and my opponent will not vote for him. I support President Trump who has – and who will continue – appointing conservative judges while my opponent will not support President Trump. I support Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) and my opponent co-sponsored the bill to get rid of it. I will travel the state after I’m elected and listen to Nebraskans unlike my opponent who people say has been invisible to them for six years. Is there any other message, statement or concern you’d like to address?