Two Republican candidates are competing in the primary election for the 3rd Congressional District.
Incumbent Adrian Smith, who has served since 2007, is seeking reelection against newcomer Mike Calhoun of Bellevue.
Calhoun, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and National Guard, said he is running to give people in the 3rd District the strong representation “they deserve and need,” something he does not believe they have right now.
“Far too long, only Omaha and Lincoln get the lion’s share of everything,” Calhoun said. “I would help bring in industry, help farmers, technology, make Nebraska a place that people can call home.”
A veteran of the Gulf War, Calhoun said he had received the Good Conduct Medal and is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, individuals’ rights and punishment for criminals.
Calhoun graduated from the Lincoln School of Commerce with a focus on computer networking and computer builds. Before retiring, he held the position of office supervisor, starting as a temp and working his way up to management.
By trade, Calhoun is a farmer, a skill he said he learned from his grandparents, neighbors and friends.
Calhoun said, if elected, he would represent the 3rd District with “honesty, fairness and tenacity,” and that it would be an honor to serve Nebraska.
“I’m a good, strong candidate,” Calhoun said. “I work until the work is done. I don’t have quit in me. I will work for the people of the 3rd District to make sure that they get what they need, to make sure they get what they deserve in a representative.”
But first Calhoun will have to unseat Smith, the incumbent who has served the 3rd District for the past 15 years.
Smith is a lifelong Republican who says he admires the character, leadership and conservative principles of former President Ronald Reagan. In Congress, he serves as a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and as a lead Republican for the subcommittee on trade.
“As a Ways and Means member, I am on the front lines of the debate on how to create jobs and reform our tax code,” Smith said. “I also have the unique opportunity to serve Nebraskans on important issues, such as opening international markets for agriculture products and advancing rural health care.”
Smith said he is running because the 3rd District wants a strong, conservative and effective representative in Washington.
“I hope to continue representing our interests and values, which recognize the importance of individuals and the private sector to grow our economy and create jobs,” Smith said. “I will advocate for federal policy which supports, not undermines, the successes of economic freedom and opportunity.”
Smith said he believes in limited government, supports the Second Amendment, believes life begins at conception and knows how Nebraska agriculture has an impact on the world.
“Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District is the top ag-producing district in the country,” Smith said. “Sound agriculture policies are a crucial part of ensuring farmers and ranchers have the resources they need to succeed.”
Smith added that he supports the balanced budget amendment: “America’s looming debt crisis is the most predictable — and avoidable — economic calamity in our nation’s history. ... Our unsustainable $30 trillion debt must be paid down by reforming our federal programs and growing our economy.”
On the topic of immigration, Smith said he believes the Biden-Harris administration has taken a series of actions that have undermined the border and allowed a record number of illegal immigrants into our country with little or no consequence. As such, he supports an immigration policy that insures the country’s safety, restores common sense to the immigration system and acknowledges and values of those who came to the U.S. legally.
“We are at a pivotal moment in our history, and we need strong conservative leadership to represent Nebraskans in Washington and to make the difficult decisions necessary to get America back on track,” Smith said.
Republican of Bellevue
Education: Lincoln School of Commerce with focus in computer networking and computer builds.
Background: Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard; tour in the first Gulf War, receiving Good Conduct Medal; worked as officer supervisor and farms.
Family: Father of four and grandfather of four.
Republican of Gering
Education: Graduate of University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Background: Served on Gering City Council; represented District 48 in Nebraska Legislature; began serving 3rd District 15 year ago; a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and is lead Republican for the subcommittee on trade; serves as chairman of the Congressional Rural Caucus, the Modern Agriculture Caucus and the Congressional Rural Veterans Caucus.
Family: Wife, Andrea, and two young children.