LINCOLN, Neb. – A retired Army veteran announced Thursday he will challenge U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith in the 3rd congressional district, marking the second Republican primary challenge this year.
Col. Tom Brewer, a 36-year military veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient, announced his candidacy in Gordon, Neb., where he grew up, near the Pine Ridge Reservation. He will take on Smith, a four-term incumbent.
Brewer said voters are frustrated with the current leadership and looking for change.
“For the last several months I have visited with Nebraskans across this state, including family, friends, business leaders, veterans and fellow members of the military, and the one thing everyone talks about is the lack of strong leadership in government,” he said in his formal campaign announcement. “Nebraskans are very passionate that Washington politicians are disconnected from the rest of this great country and its people.”
He said Nebraskans are frustrated with the “go-along-get-along mentality of career politicians.”
“Our current leadership in Washington seems to want to do the exact opposite of what is best for us locally,” he said in the release. “Politicians seem to have no clue how to move our country forward. Our country needs statesmen, not politicians.”
In December 2011, Brewer was severely wounded in a rocket-propelled grenade attack near Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was the chief of operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s counter narcotics task force. He did six tours in Afghanistan and wanted to return but his wounds forced him to retire.
“I’m not done serving my country,” he said.
He said it’s time to send someone to Washington who will challenge “lawless behavior” and fight to keep taxes low, reduce the national debt, balance the budget, protect the Second Amendment and preserve rural Nebraska’s way of life.
“My brand of leadership will work to overthrow the selfish choices make by politicians who have lost touch with the needs of their constituents,” Brewer said.
Having grown up in Gordon, he said he understands the struggles hard-working families face in the congressional district.
“I want to get government out of our business, so that we, as Nebraskans, as Americans, can be innovative, creative and productive. This includes repealing the greatest tax burden perpetrated on this country, the train wreck known as Obamacare,” Brewer said.
He said he’d work to protect Nebraska farmers and ensure the sustainability of agriculture.
“I want to see Nebraska’s resources preserved, whether that be keeping our young people here in the state and Third District; taking care of our precious ground water; or continuing the development of alternative uses for our products such as ethanol and biodiesel. It is of the utmost importance to the future of this District to create job opportunities to encourage the district’s youth to stay home so that we don’t lose our best and brightest, and to forge a long-term plan for sustainable growth.”