Omaha politician and attorney Mike Kennedy announced Thursday that he will run for a seat representing part of the metro area on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

Kennedy, 49, seeks the District 2 seat, which businessman Howard Hawks has represented for 18 years. It’s not clear whether Hawks will run for reelection. He didn’t return phone calls and texts. District 2 includes much of Sarpy County and a chunk of Douglas County.

Another person, Jack Stark, has filed a statement of organization with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission for the seat. Stark is best known as the psychologist for the Nebraska football team from 1989 to 2004. A website describes him as a performance psychologist.

Frank Daley, head of the disclosure commission, said filing a statement of organization doesn’t mean someone is running, but it signals a strong intention to run.

Mike Kennedy

Mike Kennedy

Stark didn’t return phone calls Thursday afternoon.

The NU system includes institutions in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney and Curtis. The regents oversee that system. They are officially nonpartisan.

Kennedy said he didn’t want to get ahead of Hawks’ decision but didn’t have much choice. “I’m at a point where I have to file, because if Howard doesn’t run, I’d be at a disadvantage,” he said.

Kennedy has been a member of the Millard Public Schools board since 2003. Before winning that seat, he served on the Metro Community College board from 1999 to 2002.

Kennedy, a Republican, said he would run for election on his belief in what he called the “4 A’s” — affordability, accountability, achievement and alignment.

Much of his message in an interview involved the importance of partnering with K-12 schools, community colleges, the state colleges and the private sector.

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