Term-limited Gov Pete Ricketts is continuing to use his vast personal wealth to try to shape Nebraska politics.
Ricketts has donated $314,000 to the Nebraska Future Action Fund, a political action committee that has spent $51,000 opposing State Senator Matt Williams in a race for the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
Williams, who is term-limited, faces former State Board of Education member Kathy Wilmot, whose raised only about $50,000 herself this year – including a $10,000 personal loan to her campaign.
The Regent’s race is officially non-partisan and both Wilmot and Williams are Republicans, but Ricketts has clashed with Williams in the past and the GOP state central committee has endorsed Wilmot over him..
Williams, who lives in Gothenburg, made a quick campaign swing this week that included stops in Chadron, Alliance, and Valentine. He said he’s running because of a desire to serve the residents of Nebraska.
Williams said the Regents have been faced by some major philosophical issues in recent years and he would bring another conservative voice to the table.
Challenges he sees facing the University of Nebraska include funding, a need for transparency in decision-making, and boosting enrollment – areas where he thinks his legislative actions show he can get things done.
Williams’ legislative district had stretched from Gothenburg to Broken Bow, but was moved eastward in last year’s redistricting and now covers an area that includes Grand Island, Aurora, and Genoa.