SSN Commentary

Gov. Jim Pillen Demonstrates the Type of Leadership Rural Nebraskans Want

Policy field

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University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Originally published in the Nebraska Examiner on March 6, 2024.

Gov. Jim Pillen’s recent announcement to accept $18 million in federal funds for the state’s summer food program demonstrates the type of leadership rural Nebraskans are calling for from our state’s political leaders. As the Nebraska legislative session unfolds, our state leaders should follow his lead and continue to compromise and find common ground.

In the most recent Nebraska Rural Poll, 86% of respondents agree or strongly agree that “compromise and common ground should be a goal for state political leaders.” However, given the polarized political environment across Nebraska and the country, there is political risk in changing course after taking a stance, referred to as flip-flopping, because politicians may be seen as incompetent. The courage to change course after initially refusing to apply for the summer food funding should be called out and applauded because this is the type of leadership that rural Nebraskans want to see from leaders.