Outgoing State Sen. Rich Pahls said Friday that he intends to run for Omaha City Council in next year's city election.
Pahls is the first candidate to announce plans to seek southwest Omaha's District 5 council seat being vacated by Jean Stothert, who is running for mayor. Like Stothert, Pahls is a Republican.
In the Legislature, Pahls, 69, has represented southwest Omaha's District 31 since his election in 2004.
He has served as chairman of the Legislature's Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee. He retired in 2004 from the Millard Public Schools as principal of Aldrich Elementary School.
Pahls said public safety, sewer separation costs and holding the line on taxes are key issues facing Omahans. He said maintaining Omaha's quality of life is important.
He said he continues to meet with Omahans to gather input on issues they want the City Council to address. “I listen to people and look at the issues,” Pahls said. “I know that I don't have all the answers.”
In early 2010, Pahls slipped into a coma and came close to dying during a nearly monthlong hospital stay. Doctors diagnosed him with an autoimmune disorder called microscopic polyangiitis, an inflammation of the medium and small blood vessels that affected his lungs and kidneys.
Pahls said he feels great and has regained his strength. He said his doctors have indicated he is in excellent condition.
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