2022 NEBRASKA LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES
The primary election was held on May 10, 2022. The top two vote-getters from each legislative district (regardless of party) have now advanced to the general election on November 8, 2022. Voter registrations for each district are broken down by party and displayed under each district heading. Click on a candidate’s name to learn more information about that candidate.
Check back as November 8th draws nearer for more information regarding the candidates and the general election.
District 2 (Clements)
Republican: 50.82% – Democrat: 24.49% – Independent: 24.69%
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Rob Clements (R) — Elmwood
Senator Robert Clements, 71, is running for re-election for the District 2 seat in the Legislature.
Following the resignation of Bill Kintner in February 2017, Governor Ricketts appointed Elmwood banker Robert Clements as replacement for a two-year term. In 2018, he defeated Democrat Susan Lorence, winning 56.94% of the vote.
Clements graduated from Elmwood Public School and then went on to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. After college, he worked at Business Men’s Assurance Company as an actuary. He currently works at the American Exchange Bank and is the Executive Vice President. Clements resides in Elmwood with his wife, Peggy, and they have five adult children and thirteen grandchildren. He is President of the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation and a member of the Society of Actuaries and the Sons of the American Legion.
In his time in the Legislature, he has served on the Appropriations, Nebraska Retirement Systems, Rules, and Planning committees. Throughout his time in the Unicameral, he has worked to balance the state’s budget without raising taxes and pushed for the passage of LB454 to allow homeschool graduates and other non-traditional applicants to receive a Realtor’s License. He has prioritized legislation to reduce the state’s inheritance tax and ease borrowing for cities following emergencies. If re-elected, Clements’s main priorities in the legislature would be relieving local property taxes and state income taxes, controlling state spending, growing the economy, and defending innocent life.
Sarah Slattery (D) — Plattsmouth
Sarah Slattery, 39, is running for the District 2 seat in the Nebraska Legislature.
Slattery received her Bachelor’s Degree from Creighton University and then went onto the Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College to receive her AAS in Culinary Arts where she graduated as the Salutatorian of her class. Today, she resides in Plattsmouth with her daughter, and she works as the Chef and Manager of Slattery Vintage Estates Vineyard and Tasting Room, a business she opened with her parents in 2008.
Slattery is also the head of hot lunch at St. John the Baptist School in Plattsmouth and an adjunct instructor at the Institute for the Culinary Arts. In the past, she has worked at the Plattsmouth Learning Center for Southeast Community College to teach community education classes.
Slattery is passionate about philanthropy and community service, volunteering at the March of Dimes and the Visiting Nurse Association. As a member of the AmeriCorps National Service program, she spent a year building Habitat for Humanity houses.
Slattery was inspired to run for the Legislature because she wants to fight for the rights of all District 2 citizens. Her priorities in the Legislature are supporting small businesses and education, providing better nutrition in schools, increasing access to quality healthcare, and protecting workers’ rights.
District 4 (Hilkemann)
Republican: 48.74% – Democrat: 26.45% – Independent: 24.81%
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Cindy Maxwell-Ostdiek (I) — Omaha
Cindy Maxwell-Ostdiek, 54, is running for the District 4 seat in the Nebraska Legislature.
Maxwell-Ostdiek grew up in Iowa but has lived in Omaha for more than 30 years. She graduated from Harlan Community High School in western Iowa. She and her husband Fred have three children who attend Millard Public Schools. She and Fred work from home as owners of Mortgage Protection Insurance Services Inc., offering financial and insurance services for banks and credit unions across the country. In the past, she has also worked at TD Ameritrade as a Human Resources Generalist, at Pamida as a Senior Employment Specialist, at Noll Human Resource Services as a Recruiter, and at Universal Assurors Agency as a Consultant.
Maxwell-Ostdiek is very passionate about volunteer work, and she volunteers at the Foodbank for the Heartland and OneWorld Community Center. She is the President of Rank the Vote Nebraska and on the advisory board of Nonpartisan Nebraska. She is active in the Nebraska Legislative Study Group and has testified before the Unicameral to support legislation to archive legislative proceedings. Maxwell-Ostdiek’s priorities are uniting Nebraska, growing small businesses, supporting public education, ensuring fair and equitable tax policies, and focusing on clean air, water, and energy.
Brad von Gillern (R) — Elkhorn
Brad von Gillern, 61, of Elkhorn is seeking to fill the District 4 legislative seat of term-limited Senator Robert Hilkemann. Von Gillern graduated from Burke High School and then went on to attend the University of Nebraska at Lincoln to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree in construction management engineering. Von Gillern worked across the country in construction until, in 1991, he returned to Nebraska to work as a project manager for Lueder Construction, a general contracting and construction management firm with approximately $100 million in revenue and 100 employees. At Lueder Construction, he worked his way up the ranks to become President and CEO. He sold his interest in 2021. Today he serves as Lueder’s Director of Business Development.
Von Gillern has been married for 40 years to his wife, Mary, with whom he has four grown children and five grandchildren. Mary previously worked in residential real estate until she retired. He has served as an elder board member of Lifegate Church, on the Salvation Army’s Omaha advisory board, as an officer for the Omaha Leaders, and on the board of advisors for UNMC, advocating for the Med Center. He is a pilot, sailor, and golfer.
Von Gillern was inspired to run for the Legislature because he “cares deeply about this community and our state, and I want to keep this the best place on Earth to live, work, and raise a family.” In the Legislature, Von Gillern plans to work to relieve tax burdens, ensure public safety, keep Critical Race Theory out of schools, protect parental rights in choosing education, improve the foster care system, and improve mental health care. He has participated in the Walk for Life and in Nebraska Family Alliance events. He has been endorsed by former Governor Dave Heineman, Congressman Don Bacon, Former Congressman Hal Daub, Senator John Arch, and Senator Lou Ann Linehan.
District 6 (M. Cavanaugh)
Republican: 36.90% – Democrat: 37.17% – Independent: 25.93%
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Machaela Cavanaugh (D) — Omaha
Incumbent Senator Machaela Cavanaugh, 43, is vying to keep her District 6 seat in the Legislature. She was elected in 2018, defeating appointed Senator Theresa Thibodeau by approximately 200 votes. Senator Cavanaugh serves on the Health and Human Services Committee and Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. Cavanaugh graduated from Marian High School and then obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of St. Thomas. She later earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Cavanaugh has worked at Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska and served as the Director of Development for Opera Omaha and American Province of the Servants of Mary. She was also previously a Staff Assistant for U.S. Senator Ben Nelson. She currently resides in Omaha with her husband, Nick Brotzel, and their three young children.
Cavanaugh has prioritized legislation to expand support for developmentally disabled children and their families, prohibit discrimination based on hair texture and style, and expand paid family leave. She has also championed child welfare oversight. Her priorities if re-elected include strengthening Omaha’s schools, cutting property taxes, ensuring affordable healthcare for all, and creating safer neighborhoods.
Christian Mirch (R) — Omaha
Christian Mirch, 35, is running for the District 6 seat in the Legislature.
Mirch attended Creighton University studying emergency medical services where he became one of the youngest paramedics in his class at 19. Mirch left Creighton University a year before graduating to pursue a career in law enforcement with the Omaha Police Department. He served as an Omaha Police Officer for 10 years, joining the Department at age 21. As an officer with the Omaha Police Department, he worked in a variety of roles, including in the Gang Unit, and coached youth baseball for PACE – Police Athletics for Community Engagement. While working as a police officer, Mirch returned to Creighton University to complete his undergraduate degree and pursue a law degree. After graduating from law school in 2018, Christian left the Omaha Police Department to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Heavican. Mirch now works in private practice as a solo practitioner focused on business formation and acquisition and contract work. He also continues to serve as a part-time police officer for Yutan, a rural community just outside of Omaha.
Mirch is a member of the Set Me Free Project’s Board of Directors, a non-profit organization focused on stopping human trafficking through effective prevention education. His wife, Emma, is a 2019 graduate Creighton University School of Medicine who is working to complete her OB-GYN residency. In 2020, they welcomed a son, Oliver, who is inspiring Mirch’s run for legislature. Mirch says that as a police officer, he witnessed first-hand the dangers that our community, especially our children, face. As a father, he is determined to ensure that his son grows-up in a safe community where he can obtain a strong education. Mirch’s priorities in the Legislature are supporting law enforcement, fighting against human trafficking, relieving property tax burdens, bringing more local control over education, and supporting teachers.
District 8 (Hunt)
Republican: 26.09% – Democrat: 45.27% – Independent: 28.64%
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Megan Hunt (D) — Omaha
Megan Hunt, 35, is running to be re-elected to the Nebraska Legislature.
Hunt graduated from Blair High School and then obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Intercultural Communication and German from Dana College. Afterward, she went on to attend the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Political Communication master’s program.
Hunt owns a boutique stationary store, Five Nine Shop and Paper. She previously ran a boutique clothing company, Hello Holiday. She is the founder of the nonprofit Safe Space Nebraska, which works to end harassment and assault in nightlife establishments.
Hunt resides in Omaha with her 11-year-old child. She has served on boards for Charles Drew Health Center, Friends of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Friends of the Nebraska AIDS Project, and Omaha Area Youth Orchestras, and is a trustee of the Businesses Ethics Alliance.
Hunt serves on the Business and Labor, Government, Military and Veteran Affairs, and Urban Affairs committees. Since being elected to the legislature in 2018, Hunt has prioritized legislation to expand food assistance and unemployment benefits and to allow college athletes to be paid for their name, image, and likeness. If re-elected, her priorities would be making Nebraska a welcoming and inclusive state, attracting new businesses, ensuring quality and well-funded public schools, and implementing justice reform.
Marilyn Asher (R) — Omaha
Marilyn Asher, 70, is running for the District 8 unicameral seat.
Asher worked for an engineering firm for 25 years working on civil and structural drafting of skyscrapers. She then went to work for the Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility in Omaha for 15 years as a religious and volunteer coordinator until 2017. She was a graduate of Burke High School, has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Grace Bible Institute and St. Paul Bible College. She received a Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Crown College. Asher also speaks Spanish fluently and has completed the seven habits of highly effective people program.
While working for the Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility she developed a mentoring program for inmates resulting in a reduction in misconduct reports. She is also works with children to keep them out of prison and has previously worked with Senator Lathrop. Asher is involved with Nebraskans for Founders Values. She has three children with her husband Dallas, a retired carpenter. They also have grandchildren.
District 10 (DeBoer)
Republican: 38.00% – Democrat: 34.85% – Independent: 27.15%
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Wendy DeBoer (D) — Omaha
Incumbent Senator Wendy DeBoer, 47, is running to keep her District 10 seat in the legislature.
DeBoer graduated from Burke High School and then attended Hastings College and the Nebraska College of Law. She received master’s degrees from UNO and The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and continued doctoral work at Syracuse University in New York in Christian theology. DeBoer has taught philosophy and religious studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Wells College, DePaul University, and Syracuse University. She volunteers at her church and community food pantry.
In the Legislature, DeBoer has served on the Judiciary, Transportation and Telecommunications, Planning, and Rules Committees. As a legislator, she has supported tax relief, expanded child care subsidies, and modernized adoption statutes to make adoption in Nebraska easier. If re-elected, she will work to strengthen schools, fight for property tax relief, push for affordable health care, and support working families.
Lou Ann Goding (R) — Omaha
Lou Ann Goding, 58, with an endorsement from Governor Pete Ricketts, is running for the District 10 legislative seat.
Goding attended Bob Jones University to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She worked for six years at Arthur Andersen as an audit manager and then for six years doing finance work for Tender Heart Treasures, a company founded by the Wantanabe family, who also ran the Oriental Trading Company. Since 1997 she has worked managing a family office in Omaha. Goding currently resides in Omaha with her husband, Mike, who is retired from a corporate finance career with First Data. The two have three children together.
For seven years, Goding served on the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education, where she worked to “straighten out mismanaged pension funds and better the employee retirement system.” Schools and education are deeply important to her, and that is why, in the legislature, she will “fight to make sure every student has a chance to be a productive and successful citizen.” Goding has served on boards for Children’s Hospital Friends and the Fontenelle Nature Association. Her main priorities in the legislature are advocating for public schools, lowering property taxes, and protecting liberties.
District 12 (Lathrop)
Republican: 37.19% – Democrat: 33.98% – Independent: 28.83%
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Robin Richards (D) — Ralston
Robin Richards, 41, is running for District 12’s unicameral seat.
Richards was born in rural Butler County, growing up on a farm outside of Rising City. She and her family returned to her mom’s hometown of Ralston when she was seven. She attended Ralston Public Schools. Richards graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with degrees in Education, English, and Music. Richards is approaching her final semester of graduate school through Colorado State University where she is part of the Leadership in Arts and Culture Management program. Additionally, she holds a Master’s Certificate in Working with Disabled Populations from Colorado State and a Master’s Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Cornell University.
Richards has served as the Vice President of the Board of Education for Ralston Public Schools and as a region director for the Nebraska Association of School Boards. She currently works as business manager for the Nebraska Arts Council and serves on the board of the Omaha Children’s Choir, Vesper Concert Series, and the Bellevue Choral Society and previously served as Press Agent for the Nebraska Choral Arts Society.
Richards and her husband Shane Smoot, a mechanic for the Department of Transportation, have two teenage sons, Jackson and Keegan. Jackson and Keegan attend Ralston Public Schools. Richards also manages the “From Ryder, With Love” project in honor of her three-year-old nephew who died of cancer, donating toys to the Omaha Children’s Hospital.
She opposes unfunded mandates, supports the Nebraska Department of Education—including continued election of representatives—and is passionate about public education and fine arts programs.
Merv Riepe (R) — Ralston
Merv Riepe, 79, is vying for the District 12 seat in the Nebraska Legislature.
Reipe was previously elected to the Legislature in 2014 and served one term before being defeated by current Senator Steve Lathrop, who gained 55.2% of the vote versus Riepe’s 44.8%. When Riepe was in the Legislature he served for two years as the chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and also served on the General Affairs and Urban Affairs Committees. He is the former CEO of Bergan Mercy Medical Center and formerly managed a physician’s group at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. Riepe was elected to the Ralston Board of Education in 2020. Riepe is also a Navy veteran. Riepe is married to Jody and has one son.
Riepe has said that his priorities for the Legislature are focusing on health care issues, lowering taxes, promoting tax fairness, and reducing spending.
District 14 (Arch)
Republican: 43.11% – Democrat: 28.08% – Independent: 28.81%
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John Arch (R) — La Vista
Senator John Arch, 65, of La Vista is running for re-election in District 14.
Arch was first elected in 2018, defeating Democrat Jeffrey Parris, winning 55.9% of the vote. Senator Arch serves as the chair of Health and Human Services Committee, as well as on the General Affairs and Urban Affairs committees.
Arch worked in health care administration for more than 34 years. For 27 years he worked for Boys Town in its health division where he served as Executive Vice President of Health Care and Director of the National Research Hospital and Clinics. As CEO of the hospitals and clinics, Arch was responsible for all Boys Town healthcare services including two hospitals in Omaha, outpatient clinics, behavioral health services and research operations. Prior to working at Boys Town, Arch served as Vice President for Marketing and Business Development at Omaha’s Saint Joseph Center for Mental Health. Arch has been married to Brenda for 43 years and has two married sons and four grandchildren. Brenda has served as a substitute teacher in the Papillion La Vista School District since 2003. John and Brenda have lived in Papillion and La Vista since 1990.
Arch’s legislative priorities include providing for our locally controlled education, controlling spending, cutting taxes, and working to grow the economy. As chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, he has led efforts to improve our child welfare and Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers. He has prioritized bills to make improvements to the state’s procurement process, expand telehealth access, provide information to Medicaid recipients about job-skills programs, and accelerate completion of transportation projects.
Cori Villegas (D) — Papillion
Cori Villegas, 26, is competing for the District 14 spot in the Nebraska Legislature.
Villegas is originally from Hawaii, and she grew up in an Air Force family that decided to make Nebraska their permanent home. She graduated from a small high school in Missouri. She attended Creighton University, where she studied psychology. She earned a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology through Grand Canyon University’s online program.
Villegas lives in Papillion and works at the Munroe Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a behavioral technician working with children with autism and other behavioral issues. She is also active in her community through volunteering at Omaha Public Schools after-school programs. She has previous experience working in hotels and working with extended family home providers, helping to place individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in homes. She previously worked at Loving Homes, a small company in Bellevue.
In the Legislature, Villegas plans to support “inclusive” policies, expand opportunities for military and veteran families, decrease property taxes, support schools, and provide more services for senior citizens and those with disabilities.
District 16 (B. Hansen)
Republican: 60.75% – Democrat: 18.60% – Independent: 20.65%
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Ben Hansen (R) — Blair
Senator Ben Hansen, 40, is seeking re-election to represent District 16.
Hansen was elected in 2018, defeating Chuck Hassebrook, winning 61.6% of the vote. Hansen has served as chair of the Business Labor Committee since 2021, and also serves on the Agriculture and Health and Human Services Committees.
Hansen is a chiropractor who graduated summa cum laude from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. He is the owner of Hansen Chiropractic Wellness Center in Blair, Blair Rent-It Center, and Heritage Barnwood Company. Hansen served on the Blair City Council from 2015-2018 and has served as a board member for the Blair Chamber of Commerce, a board member for the Blair LB840 committee, and a member of the Blair Lions Club. Originally from Schuyler, he has been married to his wife Jill Groene since 2002. They have one young daughter.
During his tenure, Hansen has focused on reducing regulations on entrepreneurs, finding efficiencies in state government, and working to find a long-term solution to the growing property tax burden. He has prioritized bills to grant employees exemptions to employee vaccine requirements, require public notification for tax increases, and exempt food establishments from certain regulations.
Connie Petersen (R) — Hoskins
Connie Petersen, 45, is running to challenge incumbent Senator Ben Hansen for the District 16 seat in the Legislature.
Petersen is a Clinical Psychologist & Clinical Director at Behavioral Health Specialists in Norfolk. She was raised in Kennard and graduated from Arlington High School in 1995. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology & Sociology from Wayne State College in 1999, a Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology from Wichita State University in 2003, a Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from Wichita State University in 2007, and a Master of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology from New Mexico State University in 2021.
Petersen has been married to Jeffrey Petersen since 1996. They have five children, ages 3 to 14. Their children attend Winside School. Their family owns a pawn shop and gun store in Norfolk. They live on a rural acreage and raise sheep.
Petersen is a member of the Nebraska Psychological Association and American Psychological Association. She has served as a board member for the Northeast Nebraska Problem Solving Court since 2012. She also served on the State of Nebraska Board of Psychology and is the current Secretary and Board Representative on Justice Behavioral Health Committee. She has also served on the State Probation Services Advisory Board. She volunteers as a 4-H Leader. She and her husband are active with Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited.
Petersen has been involved in legislative issues, testifying and advocating for prescriptive authority for trained psychologists. She is running because she wants to ensure all parts of the district are well represented, including our rural communities. She has a desire to find solutions to rural health needs and to reduce the tax burden on rural Nebraskans. She is supportive of Second Amendment rights.
District 18 (Lindstrom)
Republican: 40.62% – Democrat: 32.14% – Independent: 27.24%
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Christy Armendariz (R) — Omaha
Christy Armendariz, 55, is vying for the District 18 spot in the Legislature to replace term-limited Senator Brett Lindstrom.
After staying home to raise her children, Armendariz attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2009. She later went onto Nebraska Methodist College to obtain her Master’s of Business Administration. She currently works as a Strategic Sourcing Specialist for Nebraska Methodist Health System, working to negotiate corporate contracts for software needs. She previously worked in pharmaceutical sales and on telecommunications accounts for Great Plains Communications.
Armendariz has resided in Omaha her whole life and currently lives there with her husband of 30 years, Ralph, who is an electrical engineer working on infrastructure for Intrado, formerly known as West Corporation. The couple has three grown children and one grandchild.
In the Legislature, she plans to work to lower tax burdens, prevent government overreach on our freedoms, and prevent politically charged curriculums from being taught in schools.
Michael Young (D) — Omaha
Michael Young, 39, is running to represent District 18 in the Unicameral.
Young was born in Omaha. He attended Metropolitan Community College and the University of Nebraska at Omaha for his undergraduate studies, obtaining a business administration degree. Young became the owner and president of Technology Consulting Solutions in 2017. Previously, he worked as a consulting services manager at RSM from 2015 to 2017 and as the owner and president of q(3) Systems from 2008 to 2015. In these roles, he has worked with small businesses and nonprofits, managing websites and offering technology assistance.
Young was a member of the Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors in Nebraska, representing District 2, from 2016-2020, working to lower barriers to accessing college. Young ran for election to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners to represent District 5 in Nebraska. He lost in the Democratic primary in May 2020. He previously served on the Transit Authority of Omaha Board of Directors from 2010 to 2020, chairing the board for seven years. In that role he worked through union contacts and rebranding.
Young received the 2018 Creighton University Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award, the 2013 Omaha Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Omahans Award, and the 2009 Midlands Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award. Young has served as a member of 100 Black Men of Omaha, as board president of Carole’s House of Hope, as a supporting member of the Empowerment Network, as a member of the Nebraska Sheriffs Association, and as a book/goal buddy at Partnership 4 Kids. Young has two sons, a 16-year-old who attends Westside High School, and a 7-year-old who attends Springfield Elementary (OPS).
Young says he is running “to bring a ‘family and community grounded with Nebraska values’ perspective to Lincoln.” His legislative priorities include economic development by investing in our urban cores with a transit-oriented design, transparency in governance and budgeting, investing in technology, focusing on diversity and inclusion, and justice reform through quality jobs, education, and health care access.
District 20 (McCollister)
Republican: 39.21% – Democrat: 35.06% – Independent: 25.73%
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Stu Dornan (R) — Omaha
Stu Dornan, 64, is running for the District 20 legislative seat.
Dornan has resided in Omaha’s District 20 for the past 30 years with his wife, Dari. He and Dari have nine children, including five adopted children.
Dornan attended the University of Florida to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in English and then went on to Louisiana State University Law Center to obtain his Juris Doctor. He has had an extensive legal career. In 1984, he started his career as an FBI agent, conducting investigations of federal law violations. After his time at the FBI, he worked as an attorney in Omaha and then served as the Douglas County Attorney for three years. Dornan currently works at the Dornan Law Team, a law firm of which he was a founding partner. Dornan has received the Angels Adoption Award, been named Great Plains Super Lawyer, been listed on the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers for 2012, and received the Richard S. Arnold Award for Distinguished Service in 2021 from the Eighth Circuit Bar Association.
The Dornans are very active in their church and community. They volunteer their time for many non-profit organizations in Omaha that provide important services to individuals and families. Dornan was elected in 2010 to the Board of the Nebraska Educational Service Unit (ESU) #3 and has been re-elected twice since. The ESU provides educational programming and services to 18 school districts, impacting 82,000 students in a four-county area. He is also involved in Community Alliance and UNMC’s Board of Counselors. He has previously served as the vice president for the West Side Board of Education and has been a member of the Board of Directors at Lutheran Family Services and the Ronald McDonald House. In 2000, Stu was elected to the Board of Education for Westside Community Schools. His tenure, which included serving as board vice president, ended as required by law when he was appointed Douglas County Attorney.
Dornan made the decision to run for the legislature because he has a passion for public service. His main priorities in the legislature are improving mental health services, ensuring public safety, relieving property tax burdens, and supporting education.
John Fredrickson (D) — Omaha
John Fredrickson, 34, is running to serve District 20 in the Nebraska Legislature.
Fredrickson grew up in Omaha and later moved to New York before returning to Omaha with his husband, Jeff, who works in banking and trading, and their two-year-old son.
Fredrickson graduated from Skutt Catholic High School and went on to attend New York University to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. He later earned a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University. He taught at Columbia as an adjunct professor of social work.
Fredrickson works as mental health professional, working with clients to identify what they are struggling with and formulate ways to manage and lessen emotional pain. He has previously worked at a Federally Qualified Health Center, Callen-Lorde, which works to serve the LGBTQ community. At New York University he served as a senior clinician at the Student Health Center. He now works at and owns his own private practice.
Fredrickson decided to run for Legislature because he believes Nebraska needs a new generation of leadership. He intends to use this leadership role to make the Good Life of Nebraska an opportunity for all people. Some of Fredrickson’s main priorities are providing quality education for all children, making sure everyone has access to quality and affordable healthcare, prioritizing solutions to cultivate an economy that keeps Nebraska and its opportunities growing, and working towards equality for all.
District 22 (Moser)
Republican: 64.29% – Democrat: 18.28% – Independent: 17.43%
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Mike Moser (R) — Columbus
Incumbent Senator Mike Moser, 71, is running for a second term in the Nebraska Legislature.
Moser owns and manages a music business and was the longest serving Mayor of Columbus. Moser graduated from the University of Nebraska, Central Community College, and Scotus Central Catholic High School.
He and wife Jan raised three children in Columbus where he was active in the Youth Softball Association, Central Community College Foundation, and St. Bonaventure Church parish council.
In the Legislature Senator Moser serves on the Natural Resources and Transportation and Telecommunications Committees, as well as the Committee on Committees. He has prioritized legislation to allow retailers to keep more sales tax revenue, accelerate highway repairs following the 2019 floods, and allow public power companies to develop advanced biofuels.
Roy Zach (I) — Genoa
Roy Zach, 44, is running again to represent District 22 in the Legislature.
Zach previously ran for the Legislature against Paul Schumacher and Mike Moser in 2010. Zach has worked in agriculture, manufacturing, and service, including at Rockwell Automation, Lindsay Manufacturing, and Sentinel Building Systems. In 2018 published a book of prayers and photography titled God’s Glorious Creation: Vibrant Views followed by the 2019 release of Heavenly Horizons. He owns a business, Trinity Works, where he is selling his framed photography prints of natural landscapes.
Zach holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Social Sciences from Wayne State College and a Master of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. In 2009 his master’s thesis at UNO was titled, “Is it Windy Enough for You? The Potential for Wind Energy to Generate Electricity, Income, and Energy Security in Rural East-Central Nebraska.” He is okay with wind development as long as there is proper site selection for the turbines and appropriate set-backs.
Zach is a graduate of Lindsay Holy Family High School in Lindsay where he is a member of Holy Family Catholic Parish and the Knights of Columbus. He grew up in the ag sector with four brothers and four sisters. He is single.
He is pro-life. He is interested in safety regulations for the pharmaceutical industry and believes there should be proper safety protocols in place, noting that other countries did a better job controlling Covid. He thinks the metro areas of Nebraska went too far with mandates during the pandemic. He is interested in natural resources issues, favoring cover crops to mitigate carbon over pipelines for carbon sequestration.
District 24 (Kolterman)
Republican: 64.05% – Democrat: 17.45% – Independent: 18.50%
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Patrick Hotovy (R) — York
Patrick Hotovy, MD, 59, is running for the District 24 spot in the Nebraska Legislature.
Hotovy received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, and he completed his residency at the Lincoln Medical Education Foundation in family medicine. Hotovy currently works at the York Medical Clinic and has served as a family physician there for 30 years.
He resides in York with his wife Cheryl, and they have four children together. Hotovy previously served on the York School Board where he worked to cut spending while still delivering quality education. He was also the President of the York Public Schools Foundation. In 2018 he was named Nebraska Family Physician of the Year. He is currently the president for the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
Hotovy wants to address spending and the tax system in the legislature. He plans to cut spending while continuing to offer the services District 24 expects, all the while being mindful of the staggering valuation increases on property owners.
Jana Hughes (R) — Seward
Jana Hughes, 50, of Seward, is running for the District 24 legislative seat.
Hughes grew up in Goehner on a small family farm, which allowed her to gain an understanding of the agricultural industry and its importance. She later went on to obtain a degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Hughes previously worked at Hughes Brothers Manufacturing, which manufactures hardware and other products for the electric and utility industry, and is partially owned and operated by her husband, John Hughes. She has also worked at Kurt Salmon Associates Consulting Firm, which designs distribution centers in the retail industry. Today, she works at the Fallbrook YMCA, facilitating group exercises and as a substitute teacher.
Hughes has been on the Seward board of education since 2018. As a mother of three, this role is deeply important to her, making it one of her top priorities to ensure the safety and futures of Nebraska youth. She is also chair of the COVID relief fund for the Legacy fund of Seward County and the president of the Seward Junior Women’s Club.
As an active member of her community, Hughes strives to strengthen and better the communities that she loves and is a part of. She plans to do this through “lowering property taxes, strengthening small businesses, supporting schools, and being a strong voice for agriculture.”
District 26 (M. Hansen)
Republican: 34.83% – Democrat: 37.70% – Independent: 27.47%
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Russ Barger (R) — Lincoln
Russell (Russ) Barger, 50, is running for senator of legislative District 26.
Barger grew up on a farm near McCook, graduating from Wauneta-Palisade High School. Barger attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for both his bachelor’s degree in Mechanized Systems Management and his Juris Doctorate.
George Dungan (D) — Lincoln
George Dungan, 33, is running for the District 26 seat in the Legislature.
He earned his Juris Doctorate from American University, starting out as a lawyer for children in juvenile court, and now serving as a public defender. Dungan has served on the Board of Trustees of the Lincoln Bar Association and the Lincoln Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee.
Dungan is a mentor for the Teammates program and was inducted into the Teammates Hall of Fame in 2017. Dungan was born and raised in Lincoln, and currently resides in Northeast Lincoln with his partner, Britta Tollefsrud.
One of Dungan’s main priorities is protecting schools. He wants to ensure access to higher education for people of all backgrounds and improve the equality of resources and accessibility in public schools. Dungan also prioritizes creating jobs, improving community safety, securing clean air and water, relieving property taxes, and expanding access to quality and affordable health care and insurance.
District 28 (Pansing Brooks)
Republican: 29.13% – Democrat: 44.71% – Independent: 26.16%
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Roy Christensen (R) — Lincoln
Roy Christensen, 62, of Lincoln, seeks the legislative seat for District 28.
Christensen is an audiologist and owner of Christensen Hearing and Analytics. Christensen was born in Washington, D.C., when his dad was working as a lab technician for the Food and Drug Administration. Growing up he lived in upstate New York, Utah, Arizona, Indiana, Idaho, and Alabama. After high school, Christensen spent the next two years in South America on a mission for his church, Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he returned, he joined his parents, then in Flagstaff, Arizona, enrolled in college, got married and, in need of money, joined the college’s ROTC program. He received his Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Northern Arizona University. His career path was suggested by his dad, who had become a speech pathologist, and the Army assigned him to the medical service corps in Germany for three years. He went on to receive a Master’s of Science in Audiology from Idaho State University. In 1997, Christensen moved to Lincoln to open his own audiology practice. He is married to Ramiel Christensen. The couple has seven children and many grandchildren.
Christensen is a conservative Republican and self-described libertarian. He served on the Lincoln City Council from 2013 to 2021, where he prioritized public safety and fiscally conservative policies to reduce city property taxes and hold the line on spending. He lost reelection for a third term in 2021. He has been active with the Lincoln Independent Business Association. Christensen says he plans to help Lincoln get its fair share. He wants to work on bringing people together and would like to help get more investment from the state into Lincoln, including building a convention center.
Jane Raybould (D) — Lincoln
Jane Raybould, 60, is running for the District 28 legislative seat.
Since 2015 Raybould has served on the Lincoln City Council. Raybould earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Business, and French from Creighton University and a Master’s in Russian studies from Georgetown University and worked for the District of Columbia Building Industry Association.
Since 2015 Raybould has served on the Lincoln City Council. In 2018 she ran for U.S. Senate, earning 36.8% of the vote in the general election to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Deb Fischer. Raybould helps run her parents’ grocery business, B&R Stores, serving as Vice President and Director of Buildings and Equipment. Raybould resides in Lincoln with her husband Jose Herrero, an attorney, interpreter for the Nebraska Supreme Court, and U.S Programs Director of Universidad Pontificia Comillas Madrid. The two have two adult children, Clara and Gabriel.
Raybould’s main focuses in the legislature are “funding public education, criminal justice reform, mental health services, environmental resiliency and restoring state aid to cities and counties.”
District 30 (Dorn)
Republican: 52.18% – Democrat: 25.89% – Independent: 21.93%
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Myron Dorn (R) — Adams
Senator Myron Dorn is running for reelection to represent Legislative District 30.
Dorn is a 67-year-old farmer who works with his brothers, son, and nephew in the Firth and Adams area. He was previously chairman of the Gage County Board, serving on the board from 2010-2018. He has also served on the Firth Co-op Board and on the Dorchester Co-op Board. He also served on the Gage County Tourism Board and helped establish the “NGage” economic development group. He volunteers on the local Adams Rescue squad and has been a champion for EMS in the Nebraska Legislature. Dorn and his wife, Julie (a nurse at Bryan East), have two grown children.
In his first term, Dorn has prioritized legislation regarding taxes, funding for counties paying federal judgments, and employment. Dorn currently serves on the Appropriations Committee. In the Legislature he has been an advocate for agriculture and reducing property taxes while keeping our school strong.
District 31 (Kauth)
Republican: 46.21% – Democrat: 26.91% – Independent: 26.88%
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Kathleen Kauth (R) — Omaha
Senator Kathleen Kauth, a small business owner and mother of three boys, was appointed to fill the District 31 seat after the passing of Senator Rich Pahls. Kauth has been appointed until January 3, 2023 but will be running for election in November 2022.
Kauth holds two degrees from the University of Northern Iowa: a bachelor’s degree in criminology and sociology, as well as a master’s degree in public policy. She has served on the State of Nebraska’s Aging Advisory Committee and has been a member of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging Foster Grandparents Advisory Board since 2017. Kauth’s passion for gerontology led her and her husband, Andrew Fisher, to open a mediation and consulting business where she specializes in Eldercare Mediation.
As a Senator, Kauth has promised to “advocate for limited government and the growth of [Nebraska’s] small businesses.” Governor Ricketts has praised her effective communication skills, saying she will be valuable to the Legislature while working to strengthen public safety and control spending.
Tim Royers (D) — Omaha
Tim Royers, 36, is running for the District 31 spot in the Legislature. He received his bachelor’s degree in social science education from Northwest Missouri State University, a master’s degree in history from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and a master’s degree in Administration from Walden University. Royers’ wife, Angela, teaches kindergarten at West Bay Elementary in Elkhorn. They have two young daughters. He has taught social studies at Millard West since 2007. Royers was twice named Debate Coach of the Year for the Nebraska District of the National Speech and Debate Association, and in 2016 was named the Nebraska Teacher of the Year. For the past three years, Tim has served as President of the Millard Education Association.
He is running to strengthen schools, reform the tax code, retain Nebraska talent, and strengthen the business community. He wants to reform the state funding formula, so schools are getting the necessary resources from the state and don’t have to rely so heavily on property taxes. Royers is also interested in family friendly policies like paid maternity and paternity leave and affordable health care.
District 32 (Brandt)
Republican: 57.69% – Democrat: 23.32% – Independent: 18.99%
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Tom Brandt (R) — Plymouth
Senator Tom Brandt, a 62-year-old farmer and livestock feeder from Plymouth is running unopposed to continue representing District 32.
Brandt earned a degree in Agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is past chairman and a current member of the Southeast Nebraska Corn Growers and past chairman of the Jefferson County Republicans. He served nine years on the board of directors for the Farmers Cooperative of Dorchester, is a past member of the Farm Credit Services of America Advisory Council. He has also served as president and remains actively involved in the Plymouth Improvement Association, and has served as chairman of First Trinity Lutheran Church. Brandt and his wife Sandra have two grown children—a daughter in the Air Force and a son who operates a custom farming company in Plymouth.
During his first term, Senator Brandt has prioritized legislation regarding agricultural hemp farming, rural broadband, energy assistance, Farm-to-School programs, and Right to Repair agricultural equipment. Brandt serves as the Vice Chair of the Agriculture Committee in addition to serving on the General Affairs and Judiciary committees. His continued priorities for the legislature include property tax relief, increasing state aid for schools, and expanding rural broadband.
District 34 (Friesen)
Republican: 64.88% – Democrat: 17.44% – Independent: 17.68%
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Loren Lippincott (R) — Central City
Lippincott, 66, is running for District 34’s seat in the Nebraska Legislature.
Lippincott graduated from Central City High School and went on to attend the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Throughout college, he worked as a legislative page and for Secretary of State Allen Beermann. He graduated from Nebraska with a degree in broadcast journalism and began working at KOLN-TV.
Lippincott served in the U.S. Air Force where he graduated third in his officer training school class and went on to pilot training school. He was stationed as an F-16 pilot at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany and was his squadron’s overall Top Gun. He earned the rank of captain. Lippincott was honorably discharged from the Air Force after ten years of service, and he went on to be a commercial airline pilot at Delta Air Lines for 30 years, where he was based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Lippincott now resides at his family’s farmstead where he grew up, halfway between Central City and Fullerton. He has two sons and three grandchildren. Growing up and living on a farm has given him a passion for agriculture, and in the Legislature, he will “fight for agriculture, rural Nebraska, and conservative principles.” Lippincott’s other main priorities in the legislature are protecting and defending Second Amendment Rights, increasing funding to public schools through other channels besides property taxes, supporting pro-life legislation, and implementing Voter ID laws.
Michael Reimers (R) — Central City
Michael Reimers is seeking the District 34 legislative seat.
Reimers is a “proud family man,” married to his wife, Lori, and has five children/stepchildren and many grandchildren.
Reimers is a graduate of Centura High School and attended Central Community College in Hastings and the University of Nebraska Lincoln. He currently works as a service technician and travels to sell automotive support equipment. In the past, he has also been a farmer and raised livestock. Reimers is a veteran and served 26 years in the National Air Guard. As a veteran, he has seen firsthand that some of the services veterans receive are in need of being improved upon, which is why he wants to fight for veterans’ benefits in the legislature. Reimers says that he was inspired to run for “the little guy” — people like rural Nebraskans and small farmers.
While Reimers has never served in government or office, he is a district- and state-level commander for the American Legion. He believes he can improve communities and identify their needs because he has visited and experienced various communities throughout his time as a veteran and traveling for his job.
District 36 (Williams)
Republican: 51.75% – Democrat: 21.23% – Independent: 27.02%
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Rick Holdcroft (R) — Bellevue
Rick Holdcroft, 68, with an endorsement from Governor Pete Ricketts, is running to fill the District 36 legislative seat.
Holdcroft graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln through the ROTC program.
He is a veteran who spent 28 years in the U.S. Navy. Throughout his time in the Navy, he was involved in two assignments at the U.S. Strategic Command and was put in command of a Spruance class-destroyer. After his time in the Navy, Holdcroft became an aerospace executive. Today, he resides in Bellevue with his wife, Mary Jo, who is a middle school teacher. The two have five children together. Four of his children have served in the military, and he understands the importance of servicemen and women, which is why he intends to fight for them in the legislature.
Holdcroft is also active in various community organizations. He was named Nebraska Knights of Columbus Knight of the Year, and, in the same year, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Nebraska Alumni Association. He has served on the commissioning board for the USS Omaha and is active in other military organizations.
Holdcroft’s priorities in the legislature are to “work to lower taxes on retirees, homeowners, and small businesses, as well as oppose abortion, support gun rights and focus on quality education and health care.” Holdcroft was a candidate for the Legislature in 2020, earning 49.4% of the vote in the general election for District 3 against Senator Carol Blood.
Angie Lauritsen (D) — Gretna
Angie Lauritsen, 47, is running to claim the District 36 legislative seat.
Lauritsen graduated from Bellevue University with a degree in professional communication and, afterward, went into corporate banking for 13 years. She now resides in Gretna with her husband, Jason, and the two own and operate a small business together. Lauritsen’s business, Lauritsen Ventures, specializes in helping corporations with employee engagement needs. However, she says that her most important job is being a mother of three.
Lauritsen is deeply involved in the community of Gretna, serving on multiple boards, such as Lift up Sarpy County, Gretna Chamber of Commerce, and Survivors Rising. She has also been elected to the Gretna City Council and named 2017 Woman of Distinction for Sarpy County.
One of Lauritsen’s top priorities is veterans. She grew up a military kid and was born at Offutt Air Force Base, so veterans, active-duty military members, and their families hold a special place in her heart. She supports these groups through the Gretna Hometown Heroes program that she started, and she hopes to support them further in the legislature by advocating for mental health services for them. Lauritsen’s other goals in the legislature include property tax relief, providing quality education, increasing access to affordable health care, ensuring clean air and water, supporting families, and building safe communities.
District 38 (Murman)
Republican: 69.62% – Democrat: 14.24% – Independent: 16.14%
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Dave Murman (R) — Glenvil
Dave Murman, a 68-year-old farmer from Glenvil, is seeking re-election to represent District 38 in the Nebraska Unicameral.
Murman is a 1971 graduate of Sandy Creek High School. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture with a minor in Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a former Sandy Creek school board member, former EMT with Glenvil Fire & Rescue, and former president of the Nebraska State Dairy Association. He is a LEAD Program graduate and member of the Adams County Farm Bureau and Nebraska Farm Bureau state legislative policy committee. He is also a member of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and an active member of the Hastings Evangelical Free Church. He and his wife Kathy have been married for more than 40 years and have three children and four grandchildren.
During his first term, Murman has prioritized legislation relating to renewable energy and grants for renewable energy infrastructure, allowing for use of physical contact and restraint by teachers and administrators, health care licensing requirements, and property taxes. Murman serves on the Education and Health and Human Services committees.
Tyler Cappel (L) — Arapahoe
Tyler Cappel, 36, is running for the District 38 seat in the Legislature.
Cappel grew up in Holdrege and today resides in Arapahoe with his wife, Ciera, and their three children aged 10, 5, and 2. Cappel attended Southeast Community College for his general studies and then went on to Vatterott College to receive his degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. He now works as a personal trainer, and he and his wife, together, own Cappel Chiropractic and Personal Training.
After the 2016 election, Cappel became engrossed in politics and decided that, to make a difference, he had to get more involved. He became more active in politics and his community by fundraising and serving on the Library Board, and he is now taking the next step by running for the Legislature.
Cappel was drawn to running for the Legislature because he believes that Nebraska needs “a strong voice for liberty and limited government,” and he thinks he can be that voice. He is a strong believer in federalism and giving more power to the states to prevent federal overreach. A member of Nebraskans Against Government Overreach and the Cambridge Area Rotary Club. Some of Cappel’s other key priorities are making Nebraska a Second Amendment sanctuary, lowering taxes, cutting education costs and regulations, and lowering housing costs.
District 40 (Gragert)
Republican: 70.56% – Democrat: 15.32% – Independent: 14.12%
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Barry DeKay (R) — Niobrara
Barry DeKay, 62, with an endorsement from Senator Tim Gragert, is running for the District 40 seat in the Nebraska Legislature.
DeKay is a rancher residing in Niobrara with his wife, Brenda, who has worked as a dental assistant. The couple have two adult children and one grandchild.
DeKay served on the Nebraska Public Power District for six years and has been Chairman of the Board. He has been a member of the Niobrara Valley Electric Corporation, where he served as President; NPPD Nuclear Committee; Knox County Cattlemen; Farm Bureau legislative committee; Niobrara Valley Hospital Foundation, where he served as President; and Sacred Heart Parish of Boyd County. He also spends his time officiating high school and college basketball.
DeKay says he is running for the legislature because he has “always answered the call to serve, and serving our communities in the 40th District in the State Legislature is an opportunity to help our local communities.” DeKay is pro-life, supports the Second Amendment, and wants to grow broadband and revamp the broken tax system in Nebraska.
Keith Kube (R) — Crofton
Keith Kube is running for the District 40 seat in the legislature.
Kube graduated from Crofton High School and went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is also a licensed Real Estate Broker.
Kube has worked for Wheeler Co. Realtors, Robert W. Baird Investment Bankers, the Trane Company, Optrotech Inc., and George S. May International. He resides in Crofton and has one son. He currently works at the Manufacturer’s Network Group, where he serves as the Chief Financial Officer and as a Business Analyst.
Kube is the author of Grand Unification Theory of Business Success, and Integrity Starts With “I”. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Salvation Army, Rotary International of LaCrosse WI, and Yankton Area Concert Association. He was also the President and Chairman of the LaCrosse Preservation Society, and he was voted Knight of the Year for Knights of Columbus LaCrosse WI.
Kube’s priorities in the legislature include ensuring taxpayers are given the opportunity of choosing the best way to fund their local school districts, preventing federal agencies from infringing on personal property rights, and investigating the income tax structure to prevent senior citizens from moving out of state for a lesser tax burden. Kube was a candidate for the Legislature in 2018, earning 48.4% of the vote in the general election against Senator Tim Gragert.
District 42 (Jacobson)
Republican: 63.08% – Democrat: 17.91% – Independent: 19.01%
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Chris Bruns (R) — North Platte
Chris Bruns, 36, is running for the District 42 seat in the Nebraska Legislature.
Bruns resides on a ranch near North Platte with his wife, Ashley, who is a sonographer, and their three children.
Bruns is a United States Marine Corps veteran and served for nearly 10 years. After his time in the military, he attended Creighton University and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. After graduation, Bruns entered the financial services industry, working for Prudential and Farm Bureau Financial Services.
Bruns currently serves as the Lincoln County Commissioner and says he is running for the legislature to be a “strong and true conservative leader.” One of Bruns’s main goals in the legislature is economic development, specifically by growing the agricultural economy through smart policies and tax reform. Burns also prioritizes shrinking government, supporting and growing small businesses, lowering taxes, protecting individual rights, and fighting for parental rights and choice in education.
Mike Jacobson (R) — North Platte
Senator Mike Jacobson, 68, is running for election to represent District 42 in the Legislature.
Jacobson was appointed by Governor Ricketts to District 42 legislative seat in February 2022, following the resignation of Senator Mike Groene. He is currently serving on the Agriculture, General Affairs, and Natural Resources committees.
Jacobson is the founder and CEO of NebraskaLand Bank. Jacobsen was born on a family farm in Clay County near Sutton. He taught and farmed in Red Cloud. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder graduate school of banking.
Jacobson is the past President of North Platte Public Schools Foundation Board, the North Platte Development Corporation, the Community Redevelopment Authority, and the North Platte Airport Authority Board. He also serves as a board member at Great Plains Health. Jacobson is married to his wife Julie. The couple has two children, including Mary Jacobson, a lobbyist in Lincoln with the Bruning Law Group.
Jacobson says, “I’ve built my entire life around family, community, hard work, and growing a North Platte bank that keeps community service at the center of all we do. Now, I want to use my business experience and give back to our District by getting results on things that matter to use. During his short tenure in the Legislature, he has supported efforts to reduce taxes, bolster workforce housing, and expand economic development opportunities. He is a conservative, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment legislator.
District 44 (Hughes)
Republican: 65.36% – Democrat: 18.06% – Independent: 16.58%
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Teresa Ibach (R) — Sumner
Teresa Ibach, 60, of Sumner is seeking election to the Nebraska Legislature in the newly aligned Legislative District 44 which will be vacated by term-limited Senator Dan Hughes. Counties that make up District 44 include Gosper, Hayes, Dundy, Frontier, Hitchcock, Chase, Dawson and a portion of Perkins.
Ibach is a lifelong resident of Dawson County. She is a 1980 graduate of Sumner-Eddyville-Miller high school. She earned a B.S. from the College of Human Resources and Family Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was a property manager for 28 years, and she and her husband live on the family farm near Sumner where they have a cow-calf operation and raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa and forage. Their grandchildren will be the seventh-generation members of the farming operation in their community.
Ibach says she has a heart for service and philanthropy and currently serves on the Nebraska FFA Foundation Board, the Farm Bureau Foundation Board, Nebraskaland Foundation Board of Directors, and is a UNL trustee. She had previously served on boards for the Nebraska 4-H Foundation and the Lied Center for Performing Arts, as well as the Kearney Area Community Foundation, Red Cross, and Chamber of Commerce board of directors. She also teaches Junior Achievement in Kearney Public Schools. She and her husband, Greg, have been married 33 years. They have three adult children and two granddaughters. Greg is a former director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, a role he held for 12 years, making him the longest-serving director in the organization’s history. He went on to serve in the Trump Administration as the undersecretary of marketing and regulatory programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2021, Greg joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources as the institute’s inaugural Under Secretary in Residence.
Ibach says she will bring a conservative perspective to the Legislature and will focus her efforts on issues impacting rural Nebraska, especially those of agriculture, natural resources and water, property tax relief and reform, education, and rural health care. She seeks to be an advocate for our rural communities and for the families that live and work in those communities across District 44.
District 46 (Morfeld)
Republican: 30.58% – Democrat: 40.03% – Independent: 29.39%
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James Michael Bowers (D) — Lincoln
James Michael Bowers, 33, is running to hold the legislative seat for District 46 with support from current Senator Adam Morfeld.
Bowers is a graduate of Northeast High School and has lived in North Lincoln his entire life. He attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, and he later went on to earn his Master’s in Social Work from Florida State University.
Bowers currently works as a social worker at Dawes Middle School and also owns a private therapy practice in Havelock. He is the President of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Board of Health, where he has worked to guide the community out of the COVID Pandemic.
Bowers is also a Lincoln City Councilman, where he has introduced and passed a ban on price-gouging and a ban on conversion therapy.
Bower’s key priorities in the legislature are improving access to healthcare, defending public schools, fixing the foster care system, fighting for equality, and meeting the needs of seniors in the community of Lincoln.
Danielle Conrad (D) — Lincoln
Danielle Conrad is running to return to the Nebraska Legislature after representing District 46 as a Senator for eight years from 2007-2015.
In 2006, she was elected as Danielle Nantkes (her maiden name), defeating Carol Brown, earning 55.3% of the vote. She earned 51% of the vote to defeat Chad Wright in 2010. During her whole term in the Legislature she served on the Appropriations Committee. She states that her legislative accomplishments include: establishing a loan forgiveness program for rural attorneys and public interest attorneys, working as a champion for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, supporting tax cuts, spearheading efforts to modernize our state’s economic development strategies, establishing a scholarship for children of first responders killed in the line of duty, streamlining our workers compensation system, and improving access to health care for women and children.
Conrad was most recently the executive director of the ACLU Nebraska, a role she took on 2014, working to grow ACLU’s staff and advocacy efforts, including support for expanding Medicaid eligibility, banning predatory pay day lending, eliminating the last vestiges of slavery from our state constitution, increasing the minimum wage, and increasing election participation through a mass mailing of vote-by-mail applications.
Originally from Seward, Nebraska, Conrad earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska College of Law. Conrad’s professional career has included work at Appleseed as a staff attorney and policy advocate for low-income working families and new immigrants; nonprofit management; campaign management; and political consulting. While a Senator, Conrad served as the Director of the Lincoln Parks Foundation. She also led the successful effort to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage via citizen initiative in 2014. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Legal Aid of Nebraska and Research Nebraska, Inc. and is a volunteer for Lincoln Public Schools.
Danielle and her husband Tom, a fellow UNL Law graduate who owns Heartland Optical, a small business owner in North Lincoln, live in the East Campus neighborhood with their two young children.
District 48 (Stinner)
Republican: 57.61% – Democrat: 20.44% – Independent: 21.95%
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Brian Hardin (R) — Gering
Brian Hardin, 56, is seeking the District 48 legislative seat.
Hardin grew up in a Scottsbluff farm family and graduated from Gering High School and then went on to obtain his bachelor’s degree from Chadron State College and his master’s from Denver Seminary.
He worked as a police and prison chaplain in Denver and worked as a pastor in a mega church in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In the early 2000s, Hardin co-founded an Independent Marketing Operation for insurance, and through this, he trained thousands of brokers and worked with them to market their various agencies. Today, he has business interests and ownership in many sectors of business, with an emphasis on consulting for foreign businesses looking to enter the U.S. market. Hardin resides in Gering with his wife, Lili, a Purdue graduate who has a history of working in information technology and now runs the front-facing operations of Safety Wing, one of the companies they own and manage. Safety Wing is 75-employee company that provides travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for “digital nomads.”
Hardin says he wants to bring his talents in leadership and entrepreneurship to the legislature to attract more people to Nebraska and better Nebraska for current residents. He wants to do this by creating more jobs in Nebraska that will reel in and keep younger families here. He also believes agriculture can play a part in attracting more people to Nebraska by relieving the debt of farmers and ranchers and exploring new markets to bring in even more ag-related business here. A few of Hardin’s other priorities in the legislature include shrinking the government, increasing local involvement in education, protecting first and second amendment rights, and supporting law enforcement.
Don Lease (R) — Scottsbluff
Don Lease, 62, is competing for the District 48 spot in the legislature.
Lease is a farmer and rancher in Banner County. He decided to run for the legislature after his time working for the Nebraska Strong Recovery Project. He says this project “created a passion in me for the people in this area, basically. Now I’d like to see how else I can enable them, help them to pursue better things.” Through the Nebraska Strong Recovery Project, Lease helped people throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic and connected them with resources throughout their communities.
Lease graduated from Banner County High School and took ag classes at the University of Wyoming. While he did not obtain a degree, he describes himself as a “lifelong learner.” His wife Yvonne is a public school teacher at Scottsbluff Public School. They have four grown children who attended school at Banner County, Scottsbluff, Gering, and Community Christian School. Lease homeschooled for three years. Their youngest son is now attending Chadron State College. He has served on the Scottsbluff School Board, his church board, and on various water advisory committees.
Lease’s passion is education. Lease’s priorities in the legislature are improving education without raising property taxes, encouraging businesses and schools to partner in trade programs, improving substance abuse programs and mental health services, and aiding first responders.