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Nebraska Political History

Back to our roots.

If you look back in our Nebraska history, you see a diverse set of political beliefs. You see room for all of us to build on each others ideas to get things done.

President Abraham Lincoln, a progressive Republican, signed into law the Homestead Act in 1862 opening the door to home ownership in Nebraska and marking a clear role for good government.

Daniel Freeman, was the first American to apply for land under the act.  Freeman was politically active and engaged in developing the public school system in Nebraska.  He went against the status quo and demanded separation of church and state.

Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca Tribe was forced to leave his homeland. When he returned to bury his son, he was arrested. Standing Bear refused to allow the courts to define his being, saying “The blood that flows will be the same color. I am a man. The same God made us both.” This bold statement changed the way American Indians were viewed in our country.

William Jennings Bryan, a populist Democrat and religious leader, helped shape many of the progressive reforms of the 20th century in the fiery speeches he gave across Nebraska and the nation.

Willa Cather, an independent artist, gave us a picture of early life in Nebraska.  She also made it clear she would not be forced into a box with her writing, pushing against stereotypes and blazing a trail for female authors.

George Norris, a Republican and Independent Member of Congress, believed in good government and believed in the people.  He brought electricity to our rural towns across Nebraska and supported the New Deal.

Malcom X was born in Omaha. He shook the civil rights movement and forced America to look at race in different ways. While Malcom X moved to Michigan as a child, his roots are Nebraska and his fighting spirit and words to stand for something live on.

Mildred Brown, a journalist and founder of Omaha Star an African-American paper, was a leader in the civil rights movement and pushed elected leaders to take action on social justice and employment issues.  Her paper encouraged true citizenship–voting and running for office.

Jim Exon, a moderate Democrat serving as Governor and Senator, was known for his ability to bridge political differences and balance budgets while keeping services intact.  He never lost an election in Nebraska.

Helen Boosalis, a political pioneer, was the first female Mayor of Lincoln.  A child of immigrants and a proud Democrat, she went on to also become the first female President of the US Conference of Mayors.  Serving as chair of AARP and helping with Arbor Day, she was a woman of firsts who never stopped being engaged in the community.

Ted Sorensen, a Democratic leader, graduated from Lincoln High School in Nebraska and went on to become the speech writer and devoted advisor of President John F. Kennedy. Sorensen was considered a pillar of wit and wisdom among energetic Democrats of the ’60s. Sorensen was one of the first national political figures to endorse Barack Obama’s candidacy for president.

Norbert Tiemann, a Republican Governor, was born in one of our small towns that make our state strong, Minden. He led our state with progressive legislation from our first minimum wage law to an intense focus on making our university system accessible.

We think there is a role for common-sense government and we need more progressive, independent and moderate voices in our state’s politics.

Nebraskans are bold.  We are pioneers. We are reformers.  We are independent.

Bold Nebraska is setting out to change the political landscape and restore political balance.

We are going back to our roots and we need your help to build a Bold Nebraska.


BOLD Nebraska
208 S. Burlington Ave., Ste 103, Box 325, Hastings, NE 68901