Stu Dornan states that he has “done it all” and saw the legislature as the next step in his public service career. He has served as a lawyer, an FBI Special Agent, a public defender, and the Douglas County attorney. He states that he has experience with all sides of the criminal justice system. He raised 9 kids, 5 of which were adopted. He states that through his adopted kids, he gained experience with the child welfare system, and became passionate about mental health issues.
Stu states that as a public employee, he greatly appreciates the work of public employees. He most frequently uses public services such as the education system, in his work on the school board, and roads. He would like to see apprenticeship and internship programs added across the state to help reduce the teacher and workforce shortage, and cites a program in Omaha that introduces high school seniors to teaching elementary school. He also states that he would like to see student debt relief expanded across the state.
When asked how federal infrastructure funding should be allocated, Stu states he will prioritize broadband, roads and bridges, education, law enforcement, and mental health services. He states that Kansas has centers for behavioral health, and would like to see the same programs implemented in Nebraska, as well as funding for mental health professionals. Stu states, “Not a lot of folks won the social lottery of life, and we need to take care of that.”
Stu states that privatization and public/private partnerships may sometimes be beneficial and uses Lutheran Family Services as an example. However, he acknowledges that there may be pitfalls, such as St. Francis Ministries, and the corrections system. When asked what made Lutheran Family Services successful, he cited its long term presence in the area, and the passion of the employees.
Stu states that he supports the right of Nebraska State Employees to unionize, and that the strength of unions is tethered to the strength of the working class. He further states that the legislature needs to properly compensate those who have dedicated themselves to public service. Stu also supports ensuring that state employee wages are equal to or greater than inflation, stating, “we all do well when everyone does well.”
Stu also supports paid parental leave, and states that every child should be afforded parental support no matter their economic status, and that many social problems start with a lack of parental presence.
In order to fill vacancies and end staff turnover, Stu states that keeping young people in Nebraska should be the State’s main focus. He also states that the State must be welcoming, and that it could be more respectful of diversity.
Stu supports the election of committee chairs through secret ballot, and the current rules surrounding the filibuster.
When asked what made him a better candidate than his opponent, Stu stated that his opponent was a “nice young man” and that their philosophies were quite similar; however, he cited his experience as being the factor that set him apart.
John Fredrickson is a father and mental health practitioner from Omaha. After completing his undergraduate degree in New York, he and his family returned to Omaha to raise their son. In his work as a mental health professional, he acquired firsthand experience in important issues, and decided that the legislature needed more mental health experts. He is passionate about education and creating a sustainable future for Nebraska through developing the workforce.
John states that the public services he uses the most are roads, the DMV, healthcare resources, and E.T. Mahoney State Park. He would like to see an expansion of social services, and more support for vulnerable populations and childcare for working families. He states that he will work to ensure that public programs and services are fully funded, as they are essential to the State.
When asked how federal infrastructure funding should be allocated, John stated that the legislature should invest in broadband across the state in order to offer more hybrid services, especially in rural areas, where mental healthcare is less accessible.
John opposes the privatization of state services and he prefers public partnerships to public/private partnerships. He states that state programs offer more transparency and are more accountable; however, he states that it is possible for public/private partnerships to be effective and provide quality services.
John supports the right of Nebraska State Employees to unionize. He also supports ensuring that state employee wages are equal to or greater than inflation, as well as paid parental leave.
To fill vacancies and end staff turnover, John states that pay and benefit structures are essential. He also states that input from those in state jobs is essential, and that he is open to conversations.
John supports the election of committee chairs through secret ballot, and the current rules surrounding the filibuster.
When asked what set him apart from his opponent, John cited his professional experience and his expertise as a mental health professional. He states that there is a lack and need for mental health professionals in the legislature, as well as more diversity.