Evnen fends off two challengers to win GOP primary for secretary of state

By: - May 11, 2022 12:15 am

Signs wait for pickup at the Nebraska Republican Party headquarters in Lincoln. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

LINCOLN — Secretary of State Bob Evnen fended off two challengers in Tuesday’s Republican primary who claimed that widespread voter fraud cost Donald Trump the 2020 election.

Secretary of State Robert Evnen
Secretary of State Robert Evnen (Courtesy of Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office)

Evnen claimed 44% of the vote in unofficial results late Tuesday night, outdistancing his GOP rivals, Robert Borer and Rex Schroder, who polled 32% and 24%, respectively.

The victory means that Evnen, a 69-year-old attorney from Lincoln, likely will win a second term. No Democrats filed to run for the post this year.

“I am grateful to Nebraska Republicans for putting their trust in me,” Evnen said in a statement Tuesday night. “I will continue to work to secure our elections and to perform the many other responsibilities of the office.” 

Both Borer, a retired Lincoln firefighter, and Schroder, a small business owner from Palmyra, had based their campaign largely on claims that the state’s vote-counting machines have been compromised and that fraudulent voting had occurred under Evnen’s watch. Both questioned whether Joe Biden had truly won an electoral vote in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, where he outpolled Trump by more than 22,000 votes.

But Evnen, a former general counsel for the Nebraska Republican Party, maintained that he had fully investigated all the claims by Borer, Schroder and a group called the Nebraska Voter Accuracy Project and found no validity to any of them.

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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and later, editing the Papillion Times group in suburban Omaha. He joined the Lincoln Journal-Star as a sports enterprise reporter, and then a roving reporter covering southeast Nebraska. In 1990, he was hired by the Omaha World-Herald as a legislative reporter. Later, for 15 years, he roamed the state covering all kinds of news and feature stories. In the past decade, he served as chief of the Lincoln Bureau and enterprise reporter. Paul has won awards for reporting from Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press, Nebraska Newspaper Association and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation, a member of the Nebraska Hop Growers and a volunteer caretaker of Irvingdale Park in Lincoln.