Meet Nebraska’s Republican Candidates for Attorney General and Secretary of State

April 26, 2022, 7 a.m. ·

Nebraska Public Media News Campaign Connections 2022

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Several candidates Nebraska Public Media News talked to contend the 2020 elections suffered from voter fraud and compromised outcomes. However, an Associated Press review of voter fraud claims found a very small number of votes potentially affected that would have made no difference in the 2020 presidential election.

Attorney General Candidates

On May 10, Republicans will choose from two candidates running for the attorney general primary election. Larry Bolinger of Alliance is also running for attorney general unopposed with the Legal Marijuana NOW party.

Jennifer Hicks

Woman poses for a photo. Behind her is the American flag

Age: 46

Occupation: Homeschool parent

Political party: Republican

Prior to the November 2020 elections, Jennifer Hicks of Peru, Nebraska was never involved in politics. Her main priority is "fixing the state's elections," because she believes the November 2020 elections suffered from voter fraud.

"We need people who will do the job of representing the people of Nebraska, and I believe that I would be a better representative of the people," she said. "The job of the attorney general is to represent the legal interest of the state, that right now, there's that divide, where the state doesn't involve the people who live in it. I don't like that. I think that that's not the way our government should be run. It excludes people like me and our concerns."

Upholding the Constitution, religious freedom, and election integrity are her top priorities. When asked what issues under the law will she focus on, if elected into the state's law firm, Hicks said she doesn't know yet, but she wouldn't ignore the work, and wouldn't prioritize "the interests of politicians over the interests of people."

"I think some of that you don't really know until you get into the office as to what you're allowed to do and what the boundaries are," she said. "First and foremost, though, I can be a voice and represent the people who are not represented."

Hicks dropped out of law school in her first semester, but believes she can defend people’s rights. When asked about the current attorney general's lawsuit against ethanol producer AltEn, or the potential legal battle to build the Perkins Canal in Colorado, Hicks said she needed more details about the cases to make an informed decision.

Mike Hilgers

Mike Hilgers
Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers

Age: 43

Occupation: Attorney, businessman

Political party: Republican

It’s non-negotiable for Nebraska to have an experienced attorney general because of the fights and issues coming up the next three years, said State Senator Mike Hilgers. If elected, he said federal government overreach is the first legal issue he will prosecute.

"We have an administration currently that is pretty aggressively applying federal law, or its interpretation of federal law amongst a number of different fronts where I think state attorney generals are going to play a critical role in holding the line and pushing back in the last couple of years," he said. "We've seen things like the vaccine mandate, we've seen things like what ultimately was an unconstitutional eviction moratorium."

With his years building his own law practice litigation firm, and as Speaker of the Legislature, Hilgers believes he’s ready to take on the job from day one.

"I think my record supports that I will do what I say I will do," he said. "If I'm elected attorney general, I say that to give Nebraskans confidence that if I tell them, I'm going to fight the federal government, if I tell them I'm going to support our law enforcement around the state of Nebraska, keep our community safe, defend our water rights, that they know that they have confidence that I will do what I say I will do."

Hilgers said he would want to continue the current attorney general’s lawsuit against AltEn, and fight to build the Perkins Canal in Colorado.

Secretary of State Candidates

Rex Schroder

Rex Schroder

Age: 49

Occupation: Entrepreneur, business owner, contractor

Political party: Republican

It's Rex Schroder of Palmyra first time running for state office. He joined the race because he believes the elections were compromised, he said.

"I would be instilling integrity back into our elections, because I feel like we virtually have no integrity left in our elections," he said. "I believe the federal government has their hands in them and I want to fix that."

The contractor wants to limit mail-in voting, promote voter ID requirements, and end the state's contract with Election Systems and Software, or ES&S' voting machines.

"I just want everybody to know that I'm not a politician. I'm a public servant," he said. "Right now, I think we have way too many politicians in office, and we should have public servants."

Robert Borer

Robert Borer

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired fire captain

Political party: Republican

Robert Borer of Lincoln wants to make elections more secure by letting counties vet voter registrations, returning to in-person voting, and livestreaming the ballot counts.

"The top priority is to provide a process for our elections, that is owned by the county and provides absolute transparency through every step so that every one of our qualified voters per the Constitution can have absolute confidence that the election results are what they are supposed to be," he said.

Borer said he's not a politician, he's just a patriot.

"If you want an election process that you can have confidence in, and wherein you can know that your vote counts the way you cast it, and it's not diluted by votes that shouldn't be there, or it's not canceled by software that shouldn't be there, then I'm your person," he said. "I will give you the voice that belongs to you."

Robert Evnen

Robert Evnen

Age: 63

Occupation: Nebraska Secretary of State since 2019

Political party: Republican

Incumbent Bob Evnen said Nebraska’s elections are among the most secure in the country. However, he does support voter ID.

"While I understand that people have [election] concerns, we've run all of those concerns to ground," he said. "I haven't found that there is anything to them. I've answered them, you can see the responses to many of these concerns."

He’s also looking into prohibiting private money to fund election operations and returning to a winner take all voting process.

"The other two candidates in the race are focused on one issue and one issue only, and my focus is on the wide variety of responsibilities of the Secretary of State," he said. "I practiced law for over 40 years. This is a republican primary. I've been active in Republican politics for 35 years. These experiences and this background I think, distinguishes me from the other candidates in this race."

Evnen mentions other responsibilities in the office, including sitting on the board of pardons, running the business services division, and expanding the state’s economy through international trade. He was assistant chair and general counsel of the republican party and served on the state board of education.

Evnen said he wants the opportunity to continue his service to Nebraska as secretary of state.