As the Nebraska GOP holds its convention in Kearney, Neb. this weekend, not all delegates and members of the Republican Party in that state are welcome to attend. Six Republicans in the state who planned on attending have been told they are no longer welcome to the convention headed by Governor Pete Ricketts.
The party told these conservatives that they would not be credentialed. The reasons given range from those potential attendees having changed parties, or having started political parties to rival the Nebraska GOP, but the language of the rejection indicates that the refusal to seat these persons is more than just procedural, but political in nature.
A letter to one unseated conservative, obtained by The Post Millennial, explained that the attendee’s “vocal support for recruiting a non-Republican candidate for Governor against the NEGOP’s 2022 gubernatorial nominee cause the Committee to decline to credential you.” The letter went on to urge the recipient to “support our Republican nominees as we enter the fall campaign.”
Another letter said that “your announcement that you are running as a write-in candidate against the 2022 Republican nominee for Governor cause the Committee to decline to credential you.”
“Ultimately,” began a letter to Lancaster County’s Faith White, “your decision to record a private conversation with party leadership, which has aided ongoing litigation brought by Democrats against the party cause the Committee to decline to credential you.”
White told the Nebraska Examiner that she recorded a call with GOP chairman Dan Welch in June 2020 in which Welch admitted to the GOP having “made a mistake by targeting then-GOP legislative candidate Janet Palmtag in a GOP on GOP legislative race. Welch pointed out that Ricketts had made the decision to target Palmtag, who has since re-registered as a Democrat.”
Crowd at Nebraska Trump rally shouts, “JOE’S GOTTA GO!” pic.twitter.com/XFBzXDQ7sG
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) May 1, 2022
The letters that were issued, the Nebraska Examiner reports, are part of an ongoing battle in the state between the establishment GOP, such as Governor Pete Ricketts, and populists, with the Ricketts-allied faction vying for control against the populists for control of the party.
Of the six letters that were issued to conservatives who were discredentialed by the party were three who posed challenges to Republican incumbents in Nebraska during recent primary elections. Two of those individuals stated that the incumbents against whom they ran “lacked loyalty to Donald Trump,” per the Nebraska Examiner.
Chair of the Nebraska GOP credentialing committee Pam Dingman, who signed off on the discredentialing letters, issued a statement that the convention would not permit people to attend who help recruit or elect candidates that are running against Republicans.
Some of these, such as Otoe County Republican Rex Schroder, said that his rejection came after he informed the state GOP of his intention to register as a Libertarian. He also said that he hadn’t registered for the convention because he “wants no part of the Pete Ricketts swamp.”
Trump supporters in Nebraska are among those who are primarily opposed to Ricketts, his administration and his hold on the local GOP. Ricketts, who backed Trump in both recent presidential contests, supports Jim Pillen to replace him in Lincoln, while Trump backed Charles Herbster, who faces “groping allegations” that some believe have their roots among Ricketts’ top staff.
More than 600 attendees are expected at the convention.
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