LINCOLN — Two candidates have announced their intention to run for Omaha-area seats in the Nebraska Legislature in 2014.
Justin Spooner, a 23-year-old Democrat, is seeking to serve west-central Omaha's District 6. The seat is now held by Sen. John Nelson, who is term-limited.
Merv Riepe, a 71-year-old Republican, is planning a run in District 12, which includes the Ralston and Millard areas of southwest Omaha. Incumbent Sen. Steve Lathrop also is barred from running again.
Spooner is single and works as a development associate for the Jewish Federation of Omaha.
A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he served as a page at the Legislature in 2012 and was co-chairman of a UNL student government committee that lobbied the Legislature.
Spooner said he's running because he cares deeply about his district and because it's important for young people to get involved.
Riepe, a married father of one grown son, is a former chief operating officer and CEO at Bergan Mercy Medical Center and formerly managed a physicians group at Children's Hospital & Medical Center.
A Navy veteran, he lives in Ralston. He has run unsuccessfully for the school board there.
Now, Riepe said, he has the time to serve in Lincoln, and he wants to use his experience to seek common-sense solutions to the state's problems.
Under a recent change in state law, legislative candidates cannot formally file for the 2014 election until Dec. 1, but several candidates have already announced their intentions to file.