The Lincoln County Republicans held their county convention Sunday, March 15 at Another Round in North Platte and took a strong stand for Matt Innis, who is challenging Sen. Ben Sasse in the primary election.
The local Republicans endorsed Innis, over the objections of Ryan Hamilton, the executive director of the state Republican party.
More than 60 people attended. County chairman Ryan Sellers conducted the convention and stepped down as chair after serving 10 years.
Innis was in attendance.
Sellers said five members of the Ben Sasse campaign also attended, as well as city councilman Ed Reiker, North Platte mayoral candidate Brandon Kelliher, plus city council candidates Donna Tryon and Mark Woods.
Sellers said the Lincoln County Republicans also received letters from Rep. Adrian Smith, Gov. Pete Ricketts and Sen. Deb Fischer.
The county Republicans elected these new board members — Chairwoman Carol Friesen, Vice chair Ryan Sellers, Secretary Peggy Orr and Treasurer Jolene Catlett.
The Lincoln County state committeewoman is Kerrin Tallmon and the state committeeman is Tom Haggert, II. Lincoln county is allotted 9 delegates to the state convention. They are: Ed Reiker, Thomas Hagert, Thomas Hagert II, Kerrin Tallmon, Mitchell Murphy, Carol Friesen, Donna Tryon, Kelle Dikeman, and Jeff Rosenthal. The alternate delegates are Vern Friesen, Cynthia Huntsman, Mark Woods and Jolene Catlett.
The nine delegates voted to endorse Innis. Hamilton said the endorsement was out of order and would not be recognized by the state party.
The resolution says: “Recognizing that primary elections are a fundamental element in our election process and confirming that the promotion of capable candidates who are committed to the Republican party’s platform and ideals should be encouraged, be it resolved that Matt Innis, having expressed strong support of our Republican President Donald Trump, and a commitment to maintaining an active and ongoing conversation with the citizens of the state of Nebraska, the Lincoln County GOP convention of March 15, 2020 does hereby endorse Matt Innis as the Republican senatorial candidate in the Nebraska primary senate election.
Hamilton said the state party constitution does not permit endorsements of non-incumbent candidates; only incumbents can be endorsed.
Sellers and the other officers thanked everyone for attending and said the party is looking forward to the 2020 election process.