Gov. Pete Ricketts to choose from 10 people to fill District 1 legislative seat

Gov. Pete Ricketts to choose from 10 people to fill District 1 legislative seat
World-Herald News Service

LINCOLN — A former mayor, a retired county administrator, a legislative employee and a father and son are among the 24 people who submitted applications by Friday’s deadline to fill a pair of upcoming vacancies in the Nebraska Legislature.

They responded to Gov. Pete Ricketts’ invitation to apply for two legislative seats that will become vacant in early January, when the incumbents take on new elected offices.

But, as he has done before, Ricketts may choose someone who didn’t apply. That was the case for his last two legislative appointments.

One vacancy will be in District 1, which includes Johnson, Nemaha, Pawnee and Richardson Counties and part of Otoe County.

The incumbent, Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse, has been elected to the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

The other vacancy will be in District 49, which covers the northwest quarter of Sarpy County.

The incumbent there, Sen. John Murante of Gretna, has been elected state treasurer.

Most of the applicants are registered Republicans, but there are a few registered Democrats and at least one registered nonpartisan.

Applicants for the District 1 seat are: Lavern Bartels, of Tecumseh; Craig Bolz and Mike Powers, both of Palmyra; Keith Kollasch, of Auburn; Mark Novak, of Dawson; Janet Palmtag, of Syracuse; Colton Schaardt and Dennis Schaardt, both of Steinauer; Julie Slama, of Peru; and Gayle Swisegood, of Falls City.

Applying for the District 49 seat are: John Brodston, Jennifer Day, David Christensen, Blake Cole, Richard Michael Ferzely, Taylor Hobbie, Carter McCann, Clark Ruby, Robert Schaefer and Mark Wayne, all of Omaha; and Dustin Kowalewski, Andrew LaGrone, Lorelle Mueting and Douglas Owen, all of Gretna.