Hinkley Appointed to Open Council Seat, Urged Not to Run in May

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Twenty-five candidates threw their name in the hat, wanting to claim Lincoln's open city council seat. But a request from current members probably stopped that number from getting any higher.

Four months. That's how long the appointed person would have the seat. For some, that just wasn't long enough, especially if they're discouraged from running for a full term in May.

Conventional wisdom is: the largest advantage a politician has during an election is incumbency.

It's an advantage all current Lincoln City Council members enjoy but won't give to someone they appoint.

"We didn't want to give an advantage to someone. Put them on the council in this short of a time frame. It would put them ahead of some of the other people who want to run," said council member, Eugene Carroll.

That's a big reason why they appointed Lloyd Hinkley to fill the vacant seat.

"That was one of his requirements, he did not want to run," Carroll said.

But is it really a requirement or a request? And can city council members demand someone doesn't run for office?

"I don't think they could and it certainly didn't come from the legal department," said Rod Confer, City Attorney.

In fact, Confer says he had no role in the city council's plan.

"I'm really not familiar with the details. I had no part in that," Confer said.

The council is confident Hinkley won't put his name on the ballot this spring.

"He can always do that. But Lloyd's given us his word he won't and I'm sure he won't. He wants to retire," Carrol said.