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  • Writer's pictureKaren Young

Blue-Collar Man: Dan Osborn For Senate

Updated: Apr 13


Welcome to Team Tuesday!


Over the weekend, I talked about how a broad coalition made their state, Nebraska, one of the most recent to adopt Medicaid expansion, after a long, pitched battle with Republican state government.


In November, the state may feature one or more abortion-related measures on the ballot.  There’s one that’s pro-abortion, and two that are anti-abortion, currently working to qualify.


And, in another sign of the winds of change, an independent candidate, Dan Osborn, is running for the Senate.  He would be a great addition!


Father, Soldier, Union Leader


Osborn, 48, a onetime Navy man who led a prominent labor strike against Kellogg’s in 2021, plans to bring together a coalition of farmers, union laborers and small business owners.  He has been endorsed by the state’s AFL-CIO.


He is going up against Deb Fischer, the 73-year-old GOP incumbent first elected in 2012. She has support from defense contractors and AIPAC.


At his campaign kick-off last fall, Osborn denounced “the monopolistic corporations… that actually run this country” and pledged to “bring together workers, farmers, ranchers and small business owners across Nebraska around bread-and-butter issues that appeal across party lines.”


He is running as an independent (there is no Democrat in the race). In an interview with Barn Raiser, he said, “I was a Democrat before, but I feel like both parties have stopped listening to working people and have stopped working for them. They’re all more aligned with corporate interests.”  He is gaining support from Democrats, libertarians and Republicans. 


His policy agenda includes:

-       Cutting taxes for small business and the middle class (paid for by collecting taxes due from multinationals)

-       As a mechanic, he believes in a right to repair.  Whether you’re a farmer or an iPhone owner, companies’ locking you out of fixing the products you own costs you money

-       Take care of veterans and raise soldier pay

-       Pass the PRO Act

-       The right to bear arms

-       Raise the Federal minimum wage, so surrounding low-wage states have to come up to NE’s higher minimum

The New York Times described his agenda as appealing “narrowly to blue-collar wallets.”  Not sure what they think the population of Nebraska looks like.  The Times does note that “union members in other states have made the jump to elective office, like Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota, and Brandon Johnson, the mayor of Chicago. The New Jersey AFL-CIO has trained 1,300 members to run for office over the past 27 years, with a success rate of 76 percent.” 

So this should be interesting. The people of Nebraska have worked so hard to overcome differences and build winning coalitions. They're set up now to do even more to improve the lives of people across the state, and by putting a better man in the Senate, across the whole country. I hope they can get it done.


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