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The race for Nebraska's 15th District: Walz vs Rogers

Abortion, taxes and gun rights at heart of fight
Posted at 6:32 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 19:32:18-04

FREMONT, Neb. (KMTV) — Dodge County voters will be deciding on whether to re-elect state senator Lynne Walz to the Nebraska Legislature.

Walz ran for lieutenant governor two years ago and views herself as a consensus builder...her opponent David Rogers says his conservative views better fit the district.

Walz currently represents dodge county. She ran for lieutenant governor in 2018, as a democrat. Now, in 2020, republican David Rogers is trying to take her spot in the technically non-partisan legislature.

"Not having a political agenda, not having preconceived ideas, but having to sit down and listen to both sides of the issue and then determining what's the best answer to the majority of people that live in Nebraska," says Walz.

Walz says she is not defined by the fact that she's a democrat.

She calls herself “not political” and believes that's what helped get elected in 2016.

She's voted to override some of governor Pete Ricketts’ vetoes...and numerous anti-abortion bills, saying she's pro-life for every stage of life.

“I am pro-life from conception to the end of life, I am a person that does not believe in the death penalty because I’m pro-life," she says.

Her opponent David Rogers has staunch anti-abortion views himself, saying he'd vote for any bill that prevents abortion but he's running on taxes. Specifically, cutting them.

"We don't have a conservative majority that will cut taxes and that will work with the governor and give him the legislation that he wants to sign to give relief to Nebraskans," he says.

While he says he would have voted for the compromise bill last session that gave some amount of property tax relief, he says it's not enough.

He's open to studying a variety of ideas, including a consumption tax. That would reset the state tax code and simply tax every new purchase a Nebraskan makes.

"We would eliminate your income tax, we would eliminate property tax, we would eliminate sales tax, and go to 100 percent consumption tax...obviously in a staged fashion," he says.

Walz says the formula that funds public education needs to be evaluated but says we can't cut taxes in a way that hurts schools.

"We also don't want to sacrifice our schools, we also don't want to sacrifice services that we receive...police services, fire services,” he says.

Walz says, if given four more years, she'll work to ensure Nebraska nursing homes do not continue to go out of business.

"So sad, to think about a nursing home closing and that resident having to move hours and hours away from her family,” she says.

Rogers is also running on the second amendment, saying he's looking at a variety of ways Nebraska can expand gun rights, including a castle doctrine law, also known as a stand your ground law.

"I want to be able to defend my home, my family from harm. and you look at some of the prosecutions that are happening because people are defending themselves."

Walz won the primary by 28 percent in a county that is two-to-one republican. Rogers thinks he can make up that gap.

"Her voting record is starting to get out and people are understanding that she is a democrat...hopefully that'll turn the tide and get me into office," he says.

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