Published On: Wed, Feb 29th, 2012

U.S. Senate candidate campaigns in County

HARTINGTON — Don’t tell Pat Flynn he is a longshot to win this May’s Republican Primary election for the U.S. Senate seat.
Flynn is passionate about his belief that he would make an excellent U.S. Senator for Nebraska. He is so intent on the job he sold his insurance and investment business last year so he could focus full time on getting his message out.

The 52 year-old Flynn was in Hartington last Wednesday as part of a whirlwind tour of Cedar, Knox and Pierce counties. He also made stops in Coleridge, Randolph, Creighton and Pierce Wednesday.
Flynn is competing against Attorney General Jon Bruning, state Sen. Deb Fischer, and State Treasurer Don Stenberg for the seat, which is being vacated by retiring Sen. Ben Nelson.
“The others may have more money, but I’ve got more passion and my supporters are more passionate,” he said.
Flynn said while the other candidates in the race are attracting donors willing to write checks for them, he is attracting people willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard for him.
“We’ve got a lot of people that believe in what we’re doing and are willing to do whatever they can to help,” he said last week during a noon-hour interview at Hartington’s Chief Bar.
Flynn said his major goal is to reduce the size of government and government intrusion in American’s lives. To accomplish that goal, he said he will push hard to eliminate or reduce the influence of several federal agencies.
Flynn proposes eliminating the Department of Housing (HUD) and the  Department of Education.
The cut to HUD would eliminate what Flynn said is an agency with a 30-year track record of corruption.
The Department of Education employs 46,000 people. Until President Jimmy Carter created the agency in 1977 state government was handling the task of overseeing education just fine, he said. This could then be a state-led department at a lower cost to taxpayers with better results.
His plan also includes a 70  percent funding reduction in the Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency.
This is the second time the Schuyler businessman has run for the Senate.
In 2008, Flynn earned 22 percent of the vote in a Republican primary with Mike Johanns.