State Legislature District 24: Kolterman vs. Nantkes

Candidate responses are posted exactly as we received them and have not been edited.

Incumbent Mark Kolterman and Stephanie Nantkes are running for the State Legislature District 24 seat which includes Seward, York and Polk counties.

Mark Kolterman (Incumbent)
Political Party: Republican
Hometown: Seward, NE
Current City: Seward, NE

Stephanie Nantkes
Political Party: Democrat
Hometown: Seward, NE
Current City: Seward, NE

Previous work experience:
Kolterman: While serving in the state legislature, I have served on the Agriculture, General Affairs, Health and Human Services, Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committees, and for the past three sessions, I have served as the chair of the Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee.
While serving I have also received the following honors:
During his past 4 years of service, Mark has been recognized by many organizations for his leadership, including:
- 2015 Bohay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD) Fellowship through Council of State Governments
- 2016/2017 Legislator of the Year by the Dental Hygiene Association
- 2017 Cancer Legislator of the Year by the American Cancer Society
- 2017 Healthcare Advocate of the Year by the Nebraska Hospital Association
- 2017 LaVon Crosby Public Policy Award by Project ExtraMile – Preventing Alcohol and Related Harm
I am a retired insurance professional and served as president of Kolterman Agency, Inc., which I owned with my wife Suzanne, and spent 42 years helping businesses and individuals with their insurance needs.
I've been recognized as a leader in my industry, actively involved in the Nebraska Association of Health Underwriters and the Nebraska Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers. I am also a Life and Qualifying member of the MillionDollar Round Table, based on professional sales and service.
A lifelong resident of Seward County, I have a long history of civic involvement, promoting my community through my involvement in The Seward County Chamber and Development Partnership, St. John Lutheran Church, Concordia University, Memorial Health Care Systems, and other civic groups and activities. Previously I served on the Southeast Nebraska Development District Board as an At-Large member and as a diplomat through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
Nantkes: I have spent the last 34 years as a teacher in the Great State of Nebraska. My experience has been:
1991-2018 Lincoln Public Schools
Special Education: B.D., resource.
Elementary Education: 1st grade, Reading Recovery, and Lit. Support Specialist: Computer Science
2013-2017: UNK on line classes for Language Development/ Education Majors
1984-1991: Bee Public School
Elementary Education: K-2 combined classroom

Family/family background:
Kolterman: I was married to Suzanne (Geis), my wife of 46 years, prior to her passing in November of 2017 after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. I also have two grown daughters, a son-in-law and four grandchildren. Finally, I'm blessed with a large extended family through my parents Don and Jean Kolterman and my in-laws Carl and Adeline Geis.
Nantkes: Places I have lived: Philadelphia, PA; Guam; NJ, NE Married to Dan, who has spent his life in the service of others, as a Seward County Deputy, he has retired after 34 years of service. Dan has much pride in serving our country in the Navy, and is a Disabled Veteran. Together we have two children, Danielle and Ross. Our children have two children each, giving us 4 grandchild. We have enjoyed teaching our children the joy of fishing, camping, hunting, and being outdoors.

What was your very first job?
Kolterman: I worked for my Dad at our family store, Kolterman's Ben Franklin, located on the square in Seward, Nebraska.
Nantkes: My very first job was at a Dairy Queen in Parlin, New Jersey. I learned how to work with the public. It was a valuable experience in many ways.

What life achievements are you most proud of?
Kolterman: Marrying my wife Suzanne and remaining married for 46 years until she passed away from pancreatic cancer.
Nantkes: Life achievements, continuing my education:
2010 Co-Hort, Primarily Math, UNL, Endorsement in Math Leadership
2008 Nebraska Writing Project, advanced classes in writing
2006 Co-Hort, Math Assessment, UNL, Endorsement in Assessment Leadership
2004 M.Ed., Master Degree from Concordia University, in Administration
1991 M.Ed., Master Degree from UNL with major in both Special Education and Elementary Education

What would be the first thing you do once elected?
Kolterman: If re-elected, I plan to run for re-election as the chair of the Retirement Systems Committee. The committee oversees many pension retirement plans for state workers.
Nantkes: As I go door to door listening to voters the number one thing I hear from every voter is, they are tired of the Governor and the Legislature doing nothing to solve the property tax crises. My top priority as a State Senator will be to provide meaningful property tax relief by increasing state aid to schools, enforcing the collection of sales tax on internet sales and closing loop holes and tax breaks for big corporations and wealthy individuals in Lincoln and Omaha.

Why should voters choose you in this election?
Kolterman: I bring a very well-rounded perspective of what is going on at the state level. I'm also very good at developing relationships and am known for bringing people together to solve problems.
Nantkes: In the last four years the aspect of funding for public schools has not changed. Our state has failed to give property owners tax relief. It is time to make changes in how we support public education in Nebraska. Our educational system is ranking in the top 10 nationally, yet we sit 47th in state aid to education.
Educators bring people to the table, while striving for success. I am a trusted educator, who has never been afraid of hard work. I pledge to work for you.