LINCOLN — Former Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature Mike Flood of Norfolk said Friday that he’ll be a candidate for his old seat in 2020.

“I love northeast Nebraska and I love the state of Nebraska, and I am excited to earn another chance to represent Madison and Stanton counties in the legislature to help grow rural communities,” he said in a statement.

Mike Flood mug

Mike Flood

Flood, 44, a married father of two boys, represented District 19 in the Legislature from 2005 to 2013, and served as speaker for his final six years in office. A Republican, he was a front-runner in the race for governor in 2014 until dropping out after his wife, Mandi, was diagnosed with cancer.

He is seeking a seat now held by State Sen. Jim Scheer, the speaker of the Legislature, who is barred from running for reelection because of term limits.

Flood said he doesn’t plan to run for governor in 2022.

Flood, an attorney, now runs an expansive media chain called News Channel Nebraska that includes radio stations in Norfolk, Columbus, Nebraska City and Beatrice, as well as a Spanish-speaking station in Omaha. Flood Communications also features a news- and sports-based television station that broadcasts via cable TV across the state.

As a legislator and speaker, Flood earned a reputation as a negotiator of compromises on issues including the route of the Keystone XL pipeline and collective bargaining. He also was a strong advocate for pro-life issues and capital punishment. He said he would work to improve the state’s economy if elected.

At least two other senators have returned to the Legislature after leaving because of term limits: Ernie Chambers and Steve Lathrop, both of Omaha.

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Reporter - Regional/state issues

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues. He specializes in tax and transportation issues, following the governor and the state prison system. Follow him on Twitter @PaulHammelOWH. Phone: 402-473-9584.

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