Nebraskans deserve to have capable, energetic leaders serving in the State Legislature. Here are more of our recommendations in the 22 legislative contests this fall.
>> Sen. Colby Coash, District 27, in Lincoln. Coash believes he has unfinished business with the state’s efforts to improve its child welfare system, and we agree. Coash has worked diligently in this area, and that was reflected in the Judiciary Committee chairman’s decision to appoint Coash to the new Nebraska Children’s Commission, which is setting a new direction for the state’s child welfare system. The lawmaker is known for energetic committee work, and when he speaks during floor debate it is to make a significant point and advance the discussion. He takes a longer-term view of issues, noting of the difficult budget environment during his first term: “My predecessors were thinking about the decisions I’d have to make with spending and cash reserves, and I’m not going to forget that.”
>> Larry Zimmerman, District 29, in Lincoln. This contest features two intelligent and capable candidates. In our view, Zimmerman, a retired vice president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, deserves election due to his broad civic experience and depth of knowledge across Nebraska.
Zimmerman was with the Farm Bureau for 25 years and in his work traveled the state regularly. He has been on the Lower Platte NRD for 12 years and years ago served on a school board in Missouri. His focus is economic development statewide, and he speaks knowledgeably about Nebraska tax policy. He is right in saying that he can help the Legislature deal with urban-rural tensions that sometimes arise.
>> Sen. Beau McCoy, District 39, in western Douglas County. McCoy, a home improvement contractor, is a strong conservative. He speaks intelligently about a range of Nebraska issues and the ingredients for effectiveness at the Legislature. His most notable legislative work was as point man in successfully arguing against legislation to provide new gambling opportunities to support horse racing in Nebraska.
>> Sen. Kate Sullivan, District 41, including nine counties on the eastern edge of the Sand Hills. Sullivan is a well-spoken, hardworking lawmaker known for her championing of rural issues. She has focused great energy in studying Nebraska education policy. She analyzes key issues thoroughly and then exercises practical, independent judgment. Whenever she speaks during floor debate, she is known for having done her homework and for speaking forcefully.
>> Al Davis, District 43, in the Sand Hills and part of the Panhandle. This is another contest with two quite capable candidates. We found Davis, a rancher and school board member from Hyannis, more deserving of election due to his well-informed and thoughtful takes on a range of Nebraska issues. It is easy to see him diving into committee work and contributing constructively to policy discussions at the State Capitol. His campaign website stands out by offering an extensive look at economic factors across District 43. Economic development is his No. 1 issue.
>> John Murante, District 49, including Gretna and part of La Vista. Murante’s background as a Republican political operative and legislative staff member would lead one to conclude he is automatically partisan. But in a wide-ranging interview, he analyzed a range of Nebraska issues (tax policy, budgeting, state aid to schools, business incentives) in a practical, reasonable way. Murante demonstrates an impressive knowledge of how the Legislature operates and how to be effective.
In the Nov. 6 elections, voters would be well served by supporting Sen. Colby Coash, Larry Zimmerman, Sen. Beau McCoy, Sen. Kate Sullivan, Al Davis and John Murante.