Twelve new faces joining 106th Legislature
The Legislature is a week away from convening, but boy howdy, when they do.
Thanks to a combination of term limits, resignations and three incumbents losing their races, there will be 12 new faces and a familiar one among the 49 state senators.
Fresh from a term-limited four-year hiatus, Omaha attorney Steve Lathrop, 61, returns to represent District 12 where he defeated incumbent Merv Riepe. Lathrop joins Ernie Chambers as the only other senator (so far) to sit out one term and get re-elected.
In addition to Riepe, incumbents Theresa Thibodeau of Omaha, a Governor Pete Ricketts 2017 appointee, and Laura Ebke of Crete lost to challengers. Ebke was the Legislature’s only Libertarian after switching from the Republican Party a couple years ago after Ricketts called out a number of Republican senators for failing to support several of his veto overrides.
Machaela Cavanaugh, 39, the daughter of former Democratic Rep. John Cavanaugh of Omaha, defeated Thibodeau. Cavanaugh works for the Buffet Early Childhood Institute.
Ebke was defeated by Tom Brandt of Plymouth, a farmer and livestock feeder. The 58-year-old is also a Republican.
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