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Taylor Gage ’10 was selected as exec­utive director of the
Nebraska Repub­lican party last month.
Courtesy | Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts office

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.”