Retired UNO math professor runs for Senate seat

Photo by Andrew Bartholet
Jack Heidel retired from UNO last year. This is his second campaign for office. His first was in 2012 against Lee Terry.

Andrew D. Bartholet

A retired University of Nebraska at Omaha math professor, Jack Heidel, formally announced his candidacy for the Republican Party’s senate nomination on Wednesday.

There are two other candidates in the Republican primary for District 2, incumbent Deb Fischer and Todd Watson, according to

Heidel, a math professor at UNO since 1984, retired last year. After an unsuccessful campaign against Lee Terry in 2012, he continued to blog about fiscal and economic issues on his former campaign site,

Heidel said he’s primarily concerned about the U.S.’s growing national debt. His blog advocates economic and bureaucratic reforms that will eliminate the growth of national debt.

Heidel cited the new tax law as his reason for entering the race.

“Every Republican senator voted for the tax bill, which adds $1 trillion to our national debt over the next 10 years,” Heidel said. “The debt is a moral issue. No one in Congress takes it seriously.” Heidel said he supports tax reform so long as it is revenue neutral and does not add to the debt.

Heidel said that as national debt continues to rise faster than GDP, the U.S. will be swamped with financial burdens that will hurt the American way of life.

“If we don’t do something to fix the debt, our social programs and things like education will be drowned out by interest,” Heidel said.

Heidel refers to himself as a “non-ideological fiscal conservative and social moderate.” Heidel explained that the “non-ideological” part means he prefers to think along his own principles and values rather than party lines.

During Heidel’s formal announcement, he refrained from talking about other political topics and focused nearly all of his time on the debt. Heidel only answered questions about other issues when directly asked.

Heidel said he may agree or disagree with Fisher on various other issues, but her lack of concern about the debt is why he is running.

“If Fischer voted against the tax bill, I would not be running,” Heidel said. “I am running against the debt, and Fischer is just another person in the way.”

Heidel said that his positions on other issues can be found on his campaign website,