The former executive director of the Nebraska Family Alliance and a farmer of more than 30 years south of Lincoln, Al Riskowski announced Tuesday he will challenge Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete for her District 32 seat in the Legislature.

District 32 includes all of Thayer, Jefferson, Fillmore and Saline counties, as well as portions of Lancaster County.

Riskowski, 67, is a Republican. He said he has the endorsement of Gov. Pete Ricketts, Lt. Gov. Mike Foley, former Gov. Kay Orr and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry. 

He decided to run after a great deal of prayer, consideration and encouragement from other people in the district, he said.

“I am running for the Legislature to be an advocate for our rural communities," he said. "I know firsthand the challenges that sky-high property taxes place on farm families."

Local businesses should also have opportunities to expand and create good-paying jobs, he said. 

Riskowski's priorities include education, protecting Nebraska values and finding common-sense solutions to issues like taxes, he said. 

On the protection of values, he said Nebraskans overall have a "very conservative mindset" when it comes to family and life, and are "very strong" on liberty and gun rights. In the past, he has opposed same-sex marriage. 

He has been a board member of People’s City Mission and on the Nebraska State Penitentiary Community Involvement Committee. Riskowski has also been a statewide leader, he said, to stop human trafficking in Nebraska, including co-chairing the Research Committee on the Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking, on the leadership team of the UNL Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, and serving with an ad hoc group to develop legislation to stop human trafficking, especially of minors.

Riskowski raises corn and soybeans with two of his sons. His daughter and her family also live on the farm where she has a locally grown vegetable operation and her husband raises cattle. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or jyoung@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSLegislature.

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State government reporter

JoAnne Young covers state government, including the Legislature and state agencies, and the people they serve.

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