More World-Herald coverage: omaha.com/election
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LINCOLN — Former State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha might be on his way back to the Nebraska Legislature.
In Tuesday's primary election, Chambers outpolled incumbent Sen. Brenda Council in north Omaha's District 11.
Council is one of three incumbents facing difficult roads to keep their seats in Nebraska's nonpartisan Legislature.
Sen. Paul Lambert of Plattsmouth came in just ahead of Bill Kintner of Papillion in District 2, south of the Omaha metro area.
In District 21, on the northwest edge of Lincoln, Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm had a narrow lead over Mike Hilgers of Lincoln.
All will advance to the general election in November.
Council, a former Omaha City Council member and former Omaha school board member, expressed confidence the outcome will be different in November.
“We've got work to do,” she said. Referring to Chambers, she said, “I've got 38 years of name recognition to overcome.”
Chambers was forced out of the Legislature by term limits in 2008 after becoming the longest-serving state lawmaker.
An amendment added to the Nebraska Constitution by voters in 2000 limits state lawmakers to two consecutive terms but allows them to serve again after sitting out four years.
Chambers said he filed to run again because he wanted to take on the governor, the attorney general and the Roman Catholic Church.
Lambert, a former Plattsmouth mayor, was appointed to the District 2 seat by Gov. Dave Heineman last year. He replaced Dave Pankonin of Louisville, who resigned to focus on his business.
Kintner, making his first bid for elected office, is married to the head of Heineman's policy research office.
Among the also-rans in the District 2 race was Robyn Larson of Weeping Water, mother of Sen. Tyson Larson of O'Neill. She came in fifth in a six-way race.
Haar, a retired businessman, has been targeted for defeat by the Nebraska Republican Party and pro-life groups. Hilgers is a Lincoln lawyer.
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Other Legislature results
» Pedigree counted in midtown Omaha's District 9. Sara Howard, daughter of current State Sen. Gwen Howard, will face Erica Fish, stepdaughter of Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial, in November.
» In southeast Nebraska's District 1, Syracuse farmer Dan Watermeier placed first in a six-way race to replace Sen. Lavon Heidemann, who is term-limited and running for a seat on the NU Board of Regents. Jerry Joy of Stella, a Democrat, will face off against Watermeier, a Republican, in the general election. (Officially, legislative races are nonpartisan.)
» In the newly created District 49 in the Gretna area, John Murante, a former legislative aide, outpolled Frank Wellenstein, a banker and former member of the Metropolitan Community College board, by more than a 2-to-1 margin. The pair will square off again in November.
» In the District 45 race to replace term-limited Sen. Abbie Cornett of Bellevue, economist Richard Carter of Bellevue and Sue Crawford, a professor at Creighton University, both advanced to the general election. Carter, a Republican, was endorsed by Gov. Dave Heineman. Crawford has the backing of a former state senator from the district, Paul Hartnett of Bellevue.
» The open seat in the Millard area's District 31 will feature Rick Kolowski, a Democrat, and Acela Turco, a Republican. Kolowski is a retired Millard West High School principal. Turco runs a small business with her husband and is a member of the State Foster Care Review Board.
» In Lincoln's District 29, Kate Bolz, who works for the Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, a group that advocates for the poor, will face Larry Zimmerman, a retired executive with the Nebraska Farm Bureau. Bolz is a Democrat and Zimmerman is a Republican.
» Incumbent Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins, an appointee of Gov. Dave Heineman, easily placed first in a four-way race in northeast Nebraska's District 17. Bloomfield, a farmer, in the fall will be up against Van Phillips, a former superintendent of schools in South Sioux City.
» In Omaha's District 7, incumbent Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, a Democrat, received more than 70 percent of the primary vote and will face Christopher Geary, a martial arts grand master and karate studio owner, in November.
» In District 23, Wahoo Mayor Jerry Johnson and Vern Barrett, a retired University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor from Ceresco, advanced to the general election. The winner will replace Sen. Chris Langemeier of Schuyler, who is term-limited.
» In Nebraska's Sand Hills, there was a seven-way primary to replace term-limited State Sen. Deb Fischer of Valentine. John Ravenscroft, a Nenzel rancher, will face another Cherry County rancher, Al Davis of Hyannis, in the general election.
» Four incumbent state senators will be uncontested in the November election. They are Heath Mello of Omaha, Kathy Campbell of Lincoln, Mike Gloor of Grand Island and Ken Schilz of Ogallala.
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