Heidel to challenge Fischer in primary

February 28, 2018 GMT

A relative newcomer to politics has stepped forward to challenge incumbent Deb Fischer in the Republican Primary for her U.S. Senate seat.

Jack Heidel, of Omaha, is a retired math professor from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

While he admits that he and Fischer likely agree on many topics, there’s two key points they differ on.

“She’s not doing anything about our debt,” Heidel said Monday while visiting Beatrice. “She needs to be challenged. She’s not any worse than anyone else, but she’s not any better. I probably agree with her on a lot of things but the debt is a huge problem.”

Heidel said his plan to reduce debt is to take a sensible approach to budgeting. Tax revenue is increasing, he noted, so if government could hold down spending, the deficit would gradually shrink.

Another point of contention for Heidel is gun control.

“I’ll come out in favor of an assault weapon ban,” Heidel said. “(Fischer) receives money from the NRA and I doubt she’s in favor of banning assault weapons.”

Heidel believes opposing the incumbent on two controversial subjects will prove to be favorable among millennial voters.

“The assault ban and getting costs under control are key,” he said. “I think millennials will respond well to my message.”

The mathematician-turned-politician also has a plan to reduce the cost of health care in America, explaining that he favors moving away from employer-provided plans.

“Employers don’t have enough skin in the game,” he said. “They don’t have enough incentive to hold costs down. Let employees opt to personal insurance. They can save money in many cases. Giving them the option of migrating to personal insurance would save money for the employee and the employer.”

In preparation for the May 15 primary, Heidel plans to traverse much of the state and share his plan for reduced spending.

“We don’t have to cut and slash, but we have to hold costs down,” Heidel said. “The parties need to work together instead of fighting all the time.”