'The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country,' says Nebraska state senator

Nebraska State Sen. John McCollister called out the Republican Party through a string of...
Nebraska State Sen. John McCollister called out the Republican Party through a string of comments on Twitter following shootings in Ohio and Texas that left 31 people dead. (WOWT) (WOWT)
Published: Aug. 5, 2019 at 11:43 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A Republican state senator from Omaha on Monday stood by statements he made on Twitter blasting his party for "enabling white supremacy in our country" and calling on the state's all-GOP congressional delegation to speak out against President Trump's inflammatory comments about minorities.

, a moderate Republican from Omaha,

Sunday evening in response to weekend mass shootings in


that left 31 dead. Officials have said the suspect in the El Paso, Texas, shooting

before that shooting.

"We have a Republican president who continually stokes racist fears in his base," he said in one of his comments posted on Twitter on Sunday evening.

McCollister stood by the comments Monday.

"Just the fact that it’s continuing to happen. I think that’s (the tweets) the proper response," he told 6 News in a phone interview.

says the shooting was a "tipping point" for him to call out his party, although he doesn't plan to leave it.

"I’m a lifelong member of the Republican Party — in fact, my family has been involved in party politics in Nebraska for 50 years," he said. "In fact, my dad was in the House and went to the White House and persuaded Nixon to resign, so it’s been in our family for that length of time."

is the son of former Nebraska U.S. Rep. John Y. McCollister, a Republican who served from 1971-1977.

Nebraska is not immune to the sort of violence seen over the weekend, he said.

"It happens anywhere in the country, even in Nebraska," he said. "I think back to

— though I don’t think it was prompted by any white supremacy activity. But that is something that is occurring throughout the entire country, and I think we need to guard against that in Nebraska as well."

The response on social media has been somewhat surprising, McCollister said Monday morning. The number of followers on his Twitter account has risen from 650 to more than 10,000 as of 12:30 p.m. Monday.

"The response has been overwhelming," he said. "Yes, I’ve gotten a couple negative comments, but not as many as I expected to receive."

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts defended the Republican Party from criticism by the state senator,