Profile: Senate Candidate Chris Janicek

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April 19, 2018 - 4:00pm

In the coming weeks we’ll profile each of the nine major party U.S. Senate candidates on Nebraska’s May primary ballot. Learn about Omaha Democrat Chris Janicek in this NET News Campaign Connection 2018 election story.

The word “enough” shows up in big, bold letters on Chris Janicek’s campaign materials.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Chris Janicek (Photo by Mike Tobias, NET News)


Other Resources

Janicek for Senate web site

Janicek for Senate Facebook

KETV Chronicle interview with Janicek


Other Senate Race Profiles

Larry Marvin (D)

Jane Raybould (D)

Frank Svoboda (D)

Deb Fischer (R)

Jack Heidel (R)

Dennis Macek (R)

Jeffrey Stein (R)

Todd Watson (R)

(Note: Since Libertarian candidate Jim Schultz is uncontested we are not including him in our primary profiles, but plan to include him in our general election coverage.)


Related Story

GOP officials in Nebraska's two largest counties excluding some candidates in voter information (April 17, 2018)


Other Senate Candidate Web Sites



Libertarian (not contested in primary)


Campaign Connection 2018 is the home for NET News coverage of the 2018 elections.

“Every day I would say to myself, ‘Oh gosh, now this. I've had enough. I can't do this anymore. I can't. And enough. And enough,’ Janicek recalled. “And so, when I talked with one of my campaign people that's been helping me on this campaign, he said, ‘You know, you say that word a lot. So let's brand your campaign enough.’”

Janicek says he’d had enough of current Republican leadership, which he calls “lunacy.” So he went to meetings, talked with family and friends and decided to run for U.S. Senate.

“I've considered running for office over several years of my life, but just never pursued it,” Janicek said. “We were talking earlier about my frustration, sometimes my anger with the representation that's going on in government. So I decided to look at our state level and follow the careers of a couple of the senators currently, and I noticed that they were just catering and pandering to a small percentage of Nebraskans, and not really representing the values that we have in this state. Not representing the integrity, the worth, the respect that we deserve as Nebraskans.”

The 54-year-old Omahan is originally from David City. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, studying political science, and briefly attended dental school before eventually realizing his real passion, baking. Janicek has since had wedding cake and cupcake businesses in Omaha for two decades.

He says his background makes him a good U.S. Senate choice. “My background of acquiring my knowledge through the years, my education, my small business education, working with people, meeting people halfway on ideas and projects where one had one idea one had another, and just coming together to agreement to solve the problem I think would be my biggest asset. It's not my way or the highway.”

Janicek calls health care his top priority. “The amount of money that is wasted right now on healthcare is way more than enough to implement healthcare for all Americans.”

He said the solution is a public-private venture, developed by involving “the individual Nebraskan, but also the health providers and the insurance industry.”

Janicek said he respects the second amendment and believes people should be able to own a handgun or shotgun for hunting or protection. But he said, “I think assault style rifles should be completely banned. They were a gun and a weapon made for war. These guns are not made to injure people. They're not made to kill animals. They're made to kill people.”

Janicek also calls for a 21-year-old age minimum and 30-day waiting period for background checks for gun purchases.

On immigration, he wants a “fast track to citizenship” for DACA program individuals who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children, and says the “good border security system in place now” just needs to be continually funded.

“There are sections of the wall that is currently in place that could be repaired or restructured. But spending $26 to $30 billion on a wall is not going to keep immigrants out of this country along the border of Mexico and the United States,” Janicek said. “I think a wall is a waste of money.”

Janicek calls education a top spending priority.

“If this country wants to lift people out of poverty, out of welfare, out of entitlements, we have got to give them a purpose in life. Right now, higher education after high school is prohibitive for so many people because of the expense and because of the availability. So job programs, job training, two-year technical colleges, I think should all be available to people so that they can learn a trade and enjoy the benefit of knowing that they have a purpose in life by getting out and doing everything,” he said.

Janicek said across the board budget cuts will help reduce the budget deficit, and he doesn’t like the tax cuts passed last year, saying these mainly benefit corporate America and the wealthy. “Now when I define wealthy, the million dollar plus households are what I'm referring to as wealthy. Everyone in my company is seeing $25 to $30 (of) extra cash in their paycheck,” Janicek said. “But that's all going to go away in four years as well as several of the deductions that we have, and we're going to start paying that money back in.”

Janicek said “we need to be cautious of everything Russia does,” and calls the country “a threat to the United States.”

He said the North American Free Trade Agreement “works brilliantly,” tariffs are “a horrible idea,” and working with countries like China on issues like how their workers are treated is important. “But I don't think we're ever going to get to a point where trade is equal, because we're just a nation of consumers. That just has to be owned. We need to own that.”

Janicek said he is anti-abortion, but that “making abortion illegal is not going to stop abortions.” He said solutions include free or low-cost access to birth control, and education. “If you want to get rid of abortion, we have got to start educating our young children about sex. Sex ed. We have got to educate them about the reproductive system and how it works.”

Janicek has been a Democrat since the 1980s and for a time worked in Washington D.C. for the Bill Clinton-Al Gore inaugural committee and a company that ran campaigns. Now he’s running for office for the first time with a small staff and a willingness to mostly self-fund his Senate campaign.

“Because I believe so dearly that we have to take back the government and we need to bring back respect for the people that the government's supposed to represent.”



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