Ever since state senator and congressional candidate for Nebraska's 1st District Kate Bolz was young, she has wanted to help people.
“My motivation for running for office is not different from motivation for becoming a social worker,” she said. “I’ve always had an interest in helping people and doing the best I can to help them.”
Bolz made a campaign stop in Blair on Wednesday for a “Tailgate with Kate” event outside the Blair Public Library and Technology Center. She is running against U.S. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry.
The decision to run for Congress was confirmed for Bolz when she was in her church in her hometown of Palmyra.
“I was looking at the congregation and thinking if this was something I should do, and I realized if I cared about those people, cared about their access to healthcare or if they had jobs or not that could keep them in Nebraska, I have an opportunity and responsibility to step up and fight,” she said.
In the Legislature, she is chair of the Economic Development Task Force and a member of the Executive Board and Retirement Committee. She also serves on several special committees.
Her experience in the Legislature will translate to work in Congress, she said.
“I always think the U.S. Congress has so much to learn from the Nebraska unicameral as a nonpartisan body,” Bolz said. “You can’t burn bridges, hold grudges and work in a fully partisan manner and expect to get anything done.”
She said working with people from all perspectives and geographic areas, especially on the appropriations committee, and coming to a common ground on a balanced budget, goes a long way in the direction she would like Washington, D.C., to take.
“You compromise on some things, give more than you want sometimes to give, but you stand your ground when you feel like you need to get something out of the negotiation, and at the end of the day if it is in best interest of the state it should come forward,” Bolz said.
Bolz said her top priority is health care, a topic she’s passionate about personally, as well as knowing from data and conversations with thousands of people that it is a priority to Nebraskans, even before the coronavirus pandemic.
Another priority is bringing common sense and compassion back to American politics, she said.
“We need to find common ground,” Bolz said.