By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Republican Brian Buescher (pronounced Bisher), a farm boy who grew up in Deweese, wants to be Nebraska’s next attorney general.
Buescher made a campaign swing through the western portion of the 3rd District last week. His goal—to raise voter awareness about who he is and why he is the most qualified candidate for the job.
During his swing, Buescher visited North Platte, McCook, Benkelman, Imperial, Paxton, Ogallala, Sidney, Scottsbluff, Alliance and Chadron. He said he’s visited a lot of communities in south central Nebraska.
During his visit to Imperial, Buescher, 39, said he realizes how important the 3rd District is in a statewide race.
He attended high school at Sandy Creek, a consolidated school, and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1997. He graduated from Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C., in 2000.
He returned to his roots in Nebraska and joined the law firm of Kutak Rock in their Omaha office.
With his love of farming, combined with business acumen, Buescher has specialized in agri-business litigation for the past 14 years. He presently leads that division for the firm, which includes 16 other offices nationwide.
He said he’s represented many farmers, ranchers and businesses over the years who have been caught by the overreach of federal regulation.
Federal foes have included the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior and branches of the Department of Agriculture.
Buescher feels federal agencies have gotten far too aggressive enforcing their own federal regulations without any oversight.
So why would someone step aside from such a career and enter politics?
“Because I have a lot to offer,” Buescher said. The overreach of those government agencies represents one of the big reasons he decided to seek the job.
“I’m an ag guy. I’m a farm kid,” he said, noting that a lot of issues dealt with by the AG’s office directly affect the ag industry.
With his ag background and his legal experience and skills, Buescher believes an attorney general from Nebraska has the opportunity to lead agri-business issues nationally.
Buescher feels this is an area where he can make a big impact by taking the lead to help the state’s ag business sector.
He said he understands issues such as livestock confinement and water.
Water issues will also be a focus of his efforts as attorney general, Buescher said. “If you elect me, I will be very focused on that.”
Early in his career at Kutak Rock, Buescher assisted the Nebraska AG’s office by preparing water use figures prior to the 2003 compact settlement agreement with Kansas.
Buescher firmly believes Kansas has received its fair share of water.
As a result, he believes the attorney general needs to assert Nebraska’s rights to water and work hard to protect those rights.
He also believes the 1943 compact between Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas is flawed and will take on that issue as well, he noted.
Other Republican candidates in the primary include State Sen. Pete Pirsch of Omaha and Lincoln attorneys Doug Peterson and Mike Hilgers.
Republican county co-chair
While this is his first race for statewide office, Buescher sought a seat on the Omaha City Council five years ago.
As a Republican running in a 70 percent Democrat dominated ward, he came within 72 votes of winning the seat.
He said that race provided a learning experience which he feels will help in this race.
He also served as co-chair of the Douglas County Republican Party.
He said it’s been a shorter-than-normal campaign season since incumbent AG Jon Bruning announced he would join the governor’s race rather than seek re-election. That occurred in mid-February and Buescher filed on Feb. 27th.
He and his wife, Elaine, have four children, one boy and three girls, ranging from in age from 10 to three.