Tom Brewer,a 36-year Army veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient, is running for Congress, challenging incumbent Adrian Smith for a seat in the House of Representatives.
Brewer grew up near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Gordon. He has served six tours of duty in Afghanistan.
In a kickoff speech Thursday in Kearney, Brewer said voters are frustrated with current leadership.
Smith is in his third term in Congress. He was easily reelected in 2012. The two will square off in the primary election in May.
“One thing everyone talks about is the lack of strong leadership in government," Brewer said. "Nebraskans are very passionate that Washington politicians are disconnected from the rest of this great country and its people. Politicians seem to have no clue how to move our country forward. Our country needs statesmen, not politicians.”
In December 2011, Brewer was severely wounded in a rocket-propelled grenade attack near Kabul, where he was the Chief of Operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s counter-narcotics task force.
He said he would like to go back to Afghanistan and continue the fight against terrorism in that part of the world, but it’s not meant to be.
"The wounds I received in Afghanistan have forced me to retire from military service but I’m not done serving my country," he said.
Brewer said it is time to send someone to Washington who will challenge lawless behavior. He said he will fight to keep taxes low, reduce the national debt, balance the budget, protect the second amendment and preserve a way of life in rural Nebraska that is unique in America.
“Having grown up in Gordon, I understand first-hand the struggles hard-working families face in the district," he said. "I want to get government out of our business, so that we, as Nebraskans, as Americans, can be innovative, creative and productive."
"This includes repealing the greatest tax burden perpetrated on this country, the train wreck known as ObamaCare,” Brewer said.
He said Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers are among the most hard-working, efficient and most versatile business people in the world.”
His list of priorities includes:
• Keeping young people in the state and third congressional district.
• Taking care of ground water.
• Continuing the development of alternative uses for products such as ethanol and biodiesel.