Nebraska Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood announced his plans to run for Nebraska governor before a large crowd in his hometown of Norfolk on Monday evening.
Flood has toured the state and talked with Nebraskans most of the summer as he considered a possible run for governor. During the tour, Flood made known the issues he feels need to be addressed. He says the state needs to invest in infrastructure, schools and the state's farmers.
"I'm the underdog. I'm working hard to earn trust of voters- I need your help to win," Flood said.
He spoke about his record in the legislature. He said, "I've been on the frontline protecting taxpayers, through the biggest budget crisis in Nebraska history. In 2010 I cut $500 million in spending."
He also touted his conservative social credentials, pointing to his support of a ban on late-term abortions, and his record to maintain the death penalty.
Flood cited four priorities:
Reduce the overall tax burden: "I am committed to reducing the overall tax burden on Nebraska families and small businesses. I would start by examining the elimination of certain tax loopholes to reduce the income tax on individuals. I have a record of reducing taxes. As Speaker, I shepherded the states largest tax cut in 2007. Then in 2012, I lead the way for another tax cut by reducing spending."
Hold the line on government spending: "There is no room for wasteful government spending on my watch. In 2010 I lead the charge to cut over $500 million from the state budget and believe in fiscal restraint. The state needs tax revenue to run, but I will never lose sight of the fact that government funds are hard-earned taxpayer dollars."
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: "My focus as governor would be attracting new jobs and strengthening our economy. Nebraska has a great opportunity to build on the economic success of our urban areas and revitalize our rural communities. To do this we must develop our workforce and attract new business and industry."
Infrastructure: "Nebraska has to plan for and address our infrastructure needs. This includes enhancing and repairing our highway system, working with natural gas pipeline companies to develop a plan to expand natural gas capacity to communities statewide, and look at ways to get fiber optic to rural communities."
Besides Flood, Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy has expressed interest in running for Gov. Dave Heineman's job in 2014. Heineman cannot run again because of term limits.