State Legislature District 32: Ebke vs. Brandt

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

Incumbent Laura Ebke and Tom Brandt are running for the State Legislature District 32 seat. District 32 includes Southwest Lancaster County including the towns of Denton, Sprague and Hallam plus Saline, Fillmore, Jefferson and Thayer counties.

Laura Ebke (Incumbent)
Political Party: Libertarian
Hometown: Fairbury, NE
Current City: Crete, NE

Tom Brandt
Political Party: Republican
Hometown: Plymouth, NE
Current City: Plymouth, NE

Previous work experience:
Ebke:
-4 years in the Nebraska Legislature;
-12 years on Crete School Board;
-PhD in Political Science with 20+ years of adjunct teaching at various colleges.
Brandt:
-Industrial Engineer Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich 1982-84
-Industrial/Project Engineer IBP 1984-90
-Farmer/Livestock Feeder 1990-Present

Family/family background:
Ebke: My husband and I went to high school together in Fairbury. We've been married for 37 years. We have three children (one daughter, grown and out of the house, who teaches music in Omaha, married with one child; one daughter recently graduated from high school; one son, a high school sophomore).
Brandt: I am a fourth generation family farmer and livestock feeder from Plymouth. My wife Sandra is a Trust Officer Supervisor for HHS. Our daughter Mariah is an aviator and a Captain in the Air Force. Our son Evan owns and operates a custom farming business by Plymouth.

What was your very first job?
Ebke: In Junior High and High School, I worked in my grandfather's veterinary clinic on Saturday mornings, after school, and during the summer. My tasks were mostly clean-up work, and assisting with holding animals during examinations and procedures. I occasionally went with him when he had large animal work to do, helping with record keeping.
Brandt: Working on the farm for my family and other relatives. I grew up hauling hay, working with livestock, hauling pipe, and doing jobs common to farms in southeast Nebraska, a typical farm kid in the 1970's. It taught me to work hard and do the job right the first time even if no one is looking!

What life achievements are you most proud of?
Ebke: I'm proud of getting our 3 children (mostly) raised without much controversy. They're good kids, all with unique skills and personalities.
I have some level of self-satisfaction, anyway, that after supporting my husband through his graduate program and training, I decided to finish first my Bachelor's degree, and eventually a Master's and Doctoral (PhD) degree.
Brandt: My kids have both grown up to be outstanding adults who give back to their country and community. As a parent there is nothing more satisfying!

What would be the first thing you do once elected?
Ebke: I really just want to continue the work I've started, and put my experience from the last four years to work in other areas of public policy.
Brandt: Start working hard to bring about a solution to Nebraska's ongoing property tax crisis due to a lack of school funding.

Why should voters choose you in this election?
Ebke: In a term limited environment, experience and existing relationships are at a premium for legislators. While my opponent is a fine man, he would run into the same problems that I did (and most people do) my first two years--good ideas, but no real sense of how to accomplish them.
Brandt: I understand the issues facing the people of my district, and I have the knowledge and work ethic to address and fix these issues. Property tax relief, fairness in school funding, and better broadband across the state.