Profile: Senate Candidate Todd Watson

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April 25, 2018 - 6:45am

A Lincoln businessman is making a second run for U.S. Senate. We profile Republican Todd Watson as part of our NET News Campaign Connection 2018 coverage of the race

Ask Todd Watson about any issue, and the answer usually includes something related to the Constitution.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Watson (Photo by Mike Tobias, NET News)


Other Resources

Watson for Senate web site

Watson for Senate Facebook

KETV "Chronicle" interview with Watson


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Larry Marvin (D)

Jane Raybould (D)

Frank Svoboda (D)

Deb Fischer (R)

Jack Heidel (R)

Dennis Macek (R)

Jeffrey Stein (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.)


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Libertarian (not contested in primary)


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

Watson says it’s important to remember that “we the people created the Constitution to govern the government” and that he sees the “constitutional message being plagiarized and distorted by representatives of the bigger parties.” Watson even accuses incumbent Republican Deb Fischer of supporting multiple violations of the Constitution related to things like military action, immigration policy and international agreements without congressional approval.

“So Americans need dependability that that document is going to be upheld. I'm just the best candidate,” he said.

Watson also ran for Senate in 2014 as a self-described “constitutionalist,” but then as an independent candidate. He finished last in the four person race with about one percent of the vote. “It's really hard to run a third party race, and no one really takes the third party candidate seriously, which is sad, as of now. But, as far as the message and what we're talking through, it's the same message. We believe in defending the constitution to its fullest extent, and we believe in conservative values.”

The 41-year-old Watson owns a real estate management company, and a tech business that markets real estate nationally. The 41-year-old grew up in Lincoln, then headed south to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas Christian and master's in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. During college he interned in Washington D.C. for former Nebraska Republican Rep. Jon Christensen, and says he “felt called at an early age to begin preparing for public service.”

“So I think my knowledge base and my experience level will help the Nebraska economy, which I always say goes back to the Constitution to promote the general welfare of Nebraskans and Americans.”

Watson calls the Republican Party platform “a great platform,” and says he’s always believed in conservative values.

That’s reflected in his positions on issues. When asked about any tightening of gun purchasing and gun ownership laws, he quickly responds “No. The right to bear arms is very clear. In fact, it's because I care about the citizens, I used to live in Chicago a couple years. We saw what gun free zones and restrictions did, it was called 'Chi-raq.' It's a disaster, it works the opposite. We need to talk about protecting our children with armed guards. But let the school boards dictate these rules. We're not having the right conversations about creating safety for Americans by going this route.”

In terms of immigration, Watson says no discussion on DACA or any other “status issue” should happen until border security is achieved. “I do believe it needs a physical border security, which it would probably have a wall but a lot of other elements. It's not a completely intelligent position. If you look at our illegal immigration, like 45 percent I believe, last I checked, was from overstaying VISAs. You have to reform VISA laws. It takes a full comprehensive approach to reforming immigration.

“We'll vote ‘no’ if we're going to fund sanctuary cities,” Watson added. “But, again, I'm pretty clear. I'm not going to talk status issues until we get in a serious commitment to border security, and irrevocable funding.”

Watson calls the recent $1.3 trillion budget passed by Congress “horrible, just horrible. They can’t prioritize. We’ve been saying that since 2014 too. There’s a lot of areas that need to be cut. We need to have a discussion. If I was sitting in here with the title of U.S. senator right now, I'd be working on the next budget today. Not last minute. I don't know why our reps can't plan.”

He says the preamble of the Constitution should define budgeting priorities, including “promoting the general welfare” through an energy plan, infrastructure spending and “providing for the common defense” through a strong military that’s “the preeminent force in the world” but doesn’t need to be everywhere in the world.

“Let’s bring it down,” Watson said. “We don't need to be the world’s police. Let's focus that money into, I think the nuclear submarine program is important, technology is important for defense. You tell me why we need to be in 33 countries in Africa.”

Watson said he would have voted “yes” for Republican tax cuts passed at the end of last year, but that these could have been better. I'm still in favor of the tax plan because overall it helped Americans, but how we could have made it better is we don't care if you're an investment banker, a plumber, carpenter, whatever the heck you do, we're all going to play by the same set of rules. That's what needs to happen in my tax code, and in my dream world, which isn't feasible right now. I think we have to get out of the income tax, and into more of a consumption tax. But, we're a long ways away from that.”

Watson said President Trump has valid points on tariffs, but doesn’t think that’s a good way to approach the trade deficit, that in general there should be free trade for “commodities that support life like food, shelter, water.”

He said he’s pro-life and would have voted against any budget providing funds to Planned Parenthood.

Watson calls same-sex marriage and legalization of marijuana examples of issues for states to decide. Leaving more for states to decide, he says, could also help reunite a dividing country. “Washington State or California could look very different from Nebraska or Florida. And so I think people can live under the system they want to live under that can be very different from another state.

“Why do we all have to live under one type of system?” he added. “That wasn't the design. Get our federal government back to just very few rules, limited, as the Constitution designed. But allow for Tenth Amendment freedoms for states to do different things, as they see fit.”

Watson calls himself “the biggest fan of Donald Trump in the state right now,” saying the president has done an incredible job on the economy and reducing regulation, and that he’s not concerned about Trump’s tone because “it doesn’t change lives. I care about policy and laws.”

“Overall, I think he (Trump) has done pretty good,” Watson continued. “He's not perfect. When he says, ‘I'm going to take away the guns before due process,’ that's wrong. That scares the tar out of most of us Nebraskans. In general, the only point you'll find me in disagreement is when he's going against the Constitution.”

Watson is clearly not a big fan of incumbent Sen. Deb Fischer, one of his Republican opponents. “Let's keep this stupid simple because I can get wordy,” he said. “Senator Fisher promised three things: cut spending, balance the budget, repeal Obamacare. Lie, didn't happen, fail. Not a record to keep going with.”

Watson hopes his campaign that’s active with appearances, social media and fundraising will win over Republican voters with his constitutional and conservative message.



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