ALBION — Though Election Day is more than a year away, a Boone County farmer and attorney has already announced his campaign to represent District 41 in the Unicameral.
Tom Briese of Albion said this is the right time for him to run because it’s essential to grow the state and create opportunities for future generations of Nebraskans.
“It’s something I’ve thought about for many years and decided the time is right now,” he said.
District 41 is currently represented by state Sen. Kate Sullivan, who is serving her second term.
Though this is the first time Briese has run for the Legislature, he said he is “uniquely qualified to serve.”
He is a fourth-generation Boone County farmer, and he earned his degree in agricultural economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1982. He also earned his juris doctorate from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1985.
Briese said he practiced law for a few years and has been a full-time farmer for about 25 years.
He has served on the Farm Service Agency committee and is active with the Boone County Area Foundation fund committee and the Boone County Philanthropy Council. He is a member of the Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Soybean Association, Central Plains Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Farm Bureau and National Rifle Association.
He and his wife, Joan, have been married for 28 years and have a son and a daughter.
Briese has served on the Boone Central school board for six years, including as chairman of the negotiation committee.
Education is one aspect Briese said he would like to focus on if elected.
“As we go forward to grow the economy, to grow the population, to create opportunities, three primary issues I see are education, tax relief and economic development,” he said.
Helping prepare students for future careers is important to developing a workforce, he said. He said tax relief is also needed, especially property tax relief and a balanced tax structure, in order to help Nebraska compete with other states.
Finally, Briese said those elements combine to help increase economic development. He said the state needs to invest in infrastructure and support the strong ag industry.
Announcing his run now, Briese said, gives him a chance to meet people across the large district, which includes Garfield, Valley, Sherman, Wheeler, Greeley, Howard, Boone, Antelope and Pierce counties.
He said that’s what he will be doing between now the election.
“There’s a lot of good people out there to meet, to introduce myself and to learn about what issues are important to the people of the district,” he said.