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Jim Pillen makes campaign stop in Hartington

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HARTINGTON — About two dozen Hartington area residents came out last Thursday to listen to a Northeast Nebraska man who wants to be Nebraska's next Governor.

University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen, 65, used the 75-minute talk to introduce himself and explain his positions on many issues now facing Nebraskans.

Pillen is a hog farmer and veterinarian from Columbus. He has four children, the youngest of whom attends Columbus Scotus High School.

His campaign has just begun, but he has already logged quite a few miles, and his campaign stops have been quite educational.

"Traveling around the state has been an extraordinary experience," he said. "We are incredibly blessed living where we do."

Pillen said he decided to run for Governor because he thinks he can be a good leader for the state.

"I'm a big believer in collaboration and leadership," he said. "I’m standing before you because I feel the next 10 years are really a watershed moment for Nebraska. I believe it's crucial — just like here in Hartington — it’s crucial that we grow the state of Nebraska."

The biggest issue facing Nebraskans today, he said, is an over-reliance on property taxes.

"I believe our tax system is severely flawed. We have to fix our broken property tax system and cut taxes," he said.

Besides updating Nebraska's tax structure, he also believes the state needs to update its infrastructure.

"We need to expand broadband access across the state and improve infrastructure across our state," he said.

He has already picked up some big name endorsements.

Former Governor Kay Orr has thrown her support behind him. Former Nebraska football coach and Congressman Tom Osborne has also come out in support of Pillen, who was a defensive back for Osborne's Huskers from 1976-78.

Pillen said he has been fortunate in life.

"I had a couple of big dreams as a kid. One was to be a veterinarian. The other was to be a Husker and play for the University of Nebraska. I was fortunate to be able to do both."

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