Watch Now: Fortenberry and Foley Attend New GOP Leadership Deployment Event | Regional government

Newly elected Republican State Chairman Eric Underwood said Thursday that the party’s new leadership will focus on “electing conservative Republicans statewide” at a rollout event attended by the former Representative Jeff Fortenberry and Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley.

Underwood, of Lincoln, said he was focused on “moving this party forward” with an opportunity for “people (to) have a voice that they didn’t have before.”






GOP supporters cheer during a press conference hosted by incoming state Republican Party Chairman Eric Underwood on Thursday.


JUSTIN WAN, Newspaper Star


Now, he said, “the people will be in charge of the Republican Party.”

Underwood was elected president at a party convention in Kearney on Saturday that removed Dan Welch of Omaha as party chairman and in doing so wrested the party from Governor Pete Ricketts’ control.

Responding to a question about whether he was concerned the governor was now withdrawing substantial financial support for the state party, Underwood said he “hopes that (Ricketts) chooses to continue funding the same” election goals. Republicans.

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Underwood said the party under his new leadership would support gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen and other Republican nominees chosen in the May 10 primary election.

And, he said, he will prepare a legislative plan focusing on fiscal responsibility, agriculture, limited government, education and “voter accountability and voter verification.”

Current party rules call for the creation of a plan to elect lawmakers by September.

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“Stay engaged, stay empowered,” he urged a crowd of supporters who attended the event at the GOP state headquarters in Lincoln.

Underwood, who was previously elected Lancaster County GOP chairman, is general manager of Rodizio Grill, a restaurant in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket.

The tone of Underwood’s remarks at the event was conciliatory as he attempts to build a unified Republican campaign effort this year.

However, in an earlier interview posted online by the Nebraska Examiner, Underwood flagged what “could mean more Republican challengers in GOP primary races with incumbent Republicans” in the future, Aaron Sanderford wrote.

Fortenberry and Foley’s appearance at Thursday’s event was significant.

Fortenberry, who resigned his House seat after his conviction for lying to federal officials about an illegal foreign contribution to his 2016 re-election campaign, was dropped by Ricketts before his sentencing and while he was an announced candidate for re-election.







GOP Eric Underwood, 7.14

Former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry was among GOP supporters at Thursday’s press conference with incoming GOP Chairman Eric Underwood.


JUSTIN WAN, Newspaper Star


Ricketts endorsed Senator Mike Flood of Norfolk, who was later elected to the 1st District House seat.

Foley endorsed Charles Herbster of Falls City during the gubernatorial primary campaign while Ricketts backed Pillen, prompting the governor to say the lieutenant governor had shown poor judgment.

In brief remarks, Foley said the mission now is to elect Republicans.

Fortenberry, who attended the event with his wife, Celeste, did not speak.

Underwood said he wants to “move this party forward, protect our future and move this state forward.”

That, he said, is “100% my goal”.

The change engineered at Kearney represented “workplace democracy”, he said, resulting in “a new value structure, a new culture”.

Now should come “a healing process”, he said.

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