Jane Raybould, a Lincoln business leader and city councilmember, has announced she will enter the race for U.S. Senate, challenging rancher Deb Fischer for the seat.Fischer’s first term will be complete in 2018.
Raybould kicked off her campaign Saturday in front of her family's first grocery store, Russ's Market on 17th and Washington in Lincoln.
"What's happening in Washington right now just isn't working for Nebraskans,” she said. “We need leaders who will put people before party and common sense before political games.”
Raybould is a fourth-generation Nebraskan, the granddaughter of Polish farmers from Tarnov and Loup City. Her father, Russ Raybould, founded Russ's Market, an independent grocery store, in 1964. She grew up working there. Raybould and her brother Pat currently run their family's business, the employee-owned B&R Stores Inc., which includes Russ's Market, Super Saver, Apple Market, and Save Best.
The company has 19 stores across the state that employ more than 2,000 people.
"My dad got to create and live his American dream,” she said. “And, he gave the same opportunity -- that simple chance to work hard and get ahead in life -- to our family and thousands of others. That opportunity is quickly disappearing for far too many of our fellow Americans right now.”
"It's time to make Washington work for hardworking Nebraska families," she said.
Raybould was first elected to the Lancaster County board of commissioners in 2010 -- defeating a nine-year Republican incumbent. She ran for Lincoln City Council in 2015. Raybould said she has been a moderate voice, bringing people from both sides of the aisle together to lower property taxes and ensure employee retirement funds are solvent.
"Nebraskans have an independent streak -- we judge the quality of the person and their ideas, not just their political party,” she said. “Congress needs more of that and less partisan bickering.”
A life-long, devoted Catholic who believes in living her faith and giving back, Raybould points to her history of community service. She has served in volunteer capacities for local non-profits as well as a member of the board of directors of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.
Fischer said she looks forward to “a robust campaign focused on the issues that matter most to Nebraskans.”
Fischer announced her re-election campaign on June 24, with tour stops in Omaha, Grand Island, Scottsbluff, Kearney and Lincoln.