LINCOLN — Another Republican has entered the race for Nebraska attorney general.
On Wednesday, Lincoln attorney Mike Hilgers, 35, announced his candidacy in a press conference at the State Capitol.
“Opportunities come up in God’s own time, and when this one opened up, it was sort of a surprise,” Hilgers said. “But when they do, you’ve got to consider it and see if you have something to offer, and I think I do.”
The opportunity came after Attorney General Jon Bruning decided to run for governor instead of re-election. Since then the number of people wanting to take his job has continued to grow.
State Sen. Pete Pirsch and Lincoln attorney Doug Peterson, both Republicans, have announced they are running. Fremont attorney Janet Stewart is the lone Democrat in the race.
This isn’t Hilgers' first bid for public office. He lost to State Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm in a 2012 bid for the Nebraska Legislature in the most expensive race in Legislature history.
After that heavyweight fight, Hilgers said he was enjoying life as a private citizen but decided to run for attorney general when the opportunity presented itself.
As attorney general, Hilgers said he would collaborate with county attorneys, state troopers and sheriffs to learn about legislative changes they would like to see in the criminal justice system. He also said he would work to cut costs.
Hilgers is a founding partner of Gober Hilgers, a firm with offices in Nebraska, Texas and Washington, and said his experience with the firm would help him find creative ways to lower costs without cutting jobs or pay.
Hilgers grew up in Omaha and then attended Baylor University, where he met his wife, Heather. He attended law school at the University of Chicago and practiced law in Dallas before moving back to Nebraska. Hilgers now lives in Lincoln with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, Alice.