Jim Jenkins, a fifth generation cattle rancher and restaurant entrepreneur from Custer County, is an independent running for the U.S. Senate.
Jenkins is one of five candidates who are aiming for the Senate seat currently held by Mike Johanns, who is retiring.
Four Republican candidates are gunning for the job, but Jenkins says parties are not the answer. He said Congress is broken because the parties don’t work together.
“The proverbial can is kicked further down the road on the most important issues of the day,” he said.
Jenkins’ platform will encompass the following:
• Work together and find strength in the middle of both parties to solve the issues of our nation today. Top problem: the overburdening debt of the country.
• Allow citizens to run as a non-partisan for all political offices.
“This will add much needed competition to a two party system,” he said as he called for opening primary elections to any registered voter who wants to run and then allow the top two candidates to square off in the general election.
“Americans are not nearly as divided as cable TV and the political class would have us believe,” he said. “The vast majority of us are somewhere in the sensible center. The majority of us want the same things: security from enemies; education for children; a reasonably fair playing field; infrastructure that supports the economy; freedom to pursue our dreams and a government that facilitates rather than impedes economic growth and freedom.”
Jenkins says the sensible center is not heard and certainly not represented in Congress. He welcomes Republicans, Democrats and Independents, everyone who is fed up with the broken system in Washington, to join his campaign.
“It’s time for change,” he said.
Jenkins has been a business entrepreneur, founding, co-founding or working in key roles for more than a dozen companies.
In the 1980s, he worked on President Ronald Reagan’s transition team as an assistant to domestic policy advisor Edwin Harper who served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Assistant to the President.
He founded the Whiskey Creek chain of steakhouses, where he helped develop and market the flat iron steak. After selling Whiskey Creek, he and his management team founded Skeeter Barnes, a steakhouse and barbeque that currently operates three locations in Nebraska.
Jenkins has served on the Nebraska Ethanol Board, including two stints as chairman, and been active in local government as a member of the Custer County Planning Commission. He has also worked with the Nebraska Public Power District to establish wind farms in Nebraska and served on the board of the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition.
He is married to Julianna Jenkins, an attorney in Broken Bow, and together they have three adult children, Whitney, Peter and Haley.
For more about Jenkins, see his website HERE.
This is part of a series of articles about Nebraska candidates for Senate.