Hillsdale College alumnus Taylor Gage ’10 is stepping into a new role as the executive director of the Nebraska state Republican party, leaving his position as director of strategic communications for Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts.
“If there’s anything that I’m really excited about, it’s the people,” Gage said. “I love the people in Nebraska, and I care about Nebraska. I want to see it remain a conservative state.”
With 12 years in Nebraska politics, and more than eight of them with the Republican governor, Gage has earned high praise from his former boss.
“Through floods and a pandemic, he has been at the center of our work to help keep Nebraska strong and to connect more people to my office,” Ricketts said in a statement. “His input has shaped our work through it all. Taylor has been a valued adviser, and I look forward to what’s next for him.”
Gage, a Nebraska native, graduated from Hillsdale in 2010 where he studied political science. His first job in politics was a volunteer captain on a congressional campaign. In 2008, after Gage’s sophomore year in college, he interned for the Nebraska Republican Party. When he graduated college, Gage led a state convention.
He then served as the political director for Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer’s successful 2012 campaign, deputy campaign manager for Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts in 2013 and 2014, and was the director of strategic communications in the governor’s office for eight years before this new role with the Nebraska GOP.
“My vision for this role is to elect more Republicans and help unite our Republican base around the issues that are going to help do that,” he said.“Whether it’s the pro-life issue or property tax relief, or voter ID, those are some of the top issues that we’re focused on as a party here in Nebraska right now.”
Gage said he has remained focused on local politics since graduating from Hillsdale — and he doesn’t plan to change that.
“A lot of people get focused on the national narrative and the national scene. All of that is important — it influences what we’re doing day to day, but you have limited time and resources. And the best way that you’re going to be able to move the needle politically is in your neighborhood, your church, your school and your community,” Gage said. “Focusing on what you have direct control over is the best way to create change.”
Gage said he looks forward to forming relationships with community members, working with the county party, and convincing local neighborhoods to adopt conservative views.
“It’s one of the things that makes politics so great here: you can build relationships with people, you’re going to have those relationships for a lifetime, and are going to be able to invest in the party and the state through those relationships,” he said. “The same people who were around when I was first volunteering in politics are many of the same people that are still around today. It’s fun to work together to elect conservative Republicans, see the fruits of your labor, and team up on future projects.”
Nebraska Republican Party Chairman Dan Welch said the Nebraska GOP is glad to have Gage’s expertise.
“Taylor brings a wealth of experience and relationships to grow the state party and elect more Republicans,” said Nebraska Republican Party Chairman Dan Welch in a statement.
While Gage plans an annual retreat to pray and reflect on his career choices and the year ahead, one thing is certain, he said.
“I don’t have any 10-year goals laid out,” Gage said. “But I’ll be living in Nebraska. This is where my heart is.”