Wayne State Alum Making Run for Governor


Wayne State Alum Making Run for Governor


By ERICA BLAKLEY of The Herald

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:53 AM CDT


Charlie Janssen comes from a small town, but has big dreams.

As a Wayne State College graduate and current Nebraska state senator, Janssen has decided to put his bid in to run for Nebraska’s next governor.

“Serving as state senator for the past five years has given me the opportunity to interact with thousands of Nebraskans on issues important to their daily lives as well as their future,” Janssen said. “More and more, I came to understand that we shared many of the same ideas to move our state forward and grow our economy.”

Originally from Nickerson, Janssen graduated from Logan View High School in 1989 and then Wayne State College in 1997. Upon graduating from high school, Janssen volunteered to join the United States Navy. He served as a search and rescue swimmer aboard a guided missile frigate during the first Gulf War, led a vessel in the hostile waters of occupied Kuwait and had two combat tours in the Persian Gulf. 

After completing his time in the armed forces, Janssen set out on a new adventure – college.

“I was 22 when I first enrolled at Wayne State College, so I was looking for a place that I could focus on school, but also fit well into the community since I would be living there as a full-time resident,” Janssen said. “I had visited many friends at Wayne when I was back on leave and got to know many people there. So, ultimately, I chose Wayne due to my comfort in the community, the friendships I had made and the affordability of the college.”

Janssen has always been into politics for as long as he can remember, a big reason why he wants to lead the people of Nebraska as governor.

“I have always been engaged in our political process, even from the days of student council in high school, and student senate at Wayne State College,” Janssen said. “I am not one to sit on the sidelines and complain about what is not getting done. I would rather roll up my sleeves and find out why it’s not getting done and work on how to fix it.”

Janssen’s time at Wayne State College proved to be beneficial in his career as a politician. From the classes he enrolled in to the professors he grew close to, his stay at Wayne has helped Janssen tremendously over the years.

“Maureen Carrigg was my advisor and I took many of her classes,” Janssen said. “She was very down to earth, and I think we all connected well with her.”

Janssen said that the core classes of broadcast communications have served him well when it comes to interacting with the media and the public. A philosophy class he took has also stuck with him over the years.

“It’s amazing how a lot of that critical thinking applies in so many different instances,” Janssen said. 

It’s safe to say that Janssen has faced many challenges throughout his lifetime, and becoming governor of Nebraska is just another challenge that he is ready to tackle.