Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete announced earlier this month she will seek re-election in 2018 to the Nebraska Legislature.

Ebke was elected in 2014. She is chairwoman of the Legislature's Judiciary Committee, a member of the Education Committee, and chairs the Nebraska Justice System Special Oversight Committee and the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Committee. 

During her time in the Legislature, Ebke said she has conducted 34 town hall events in 18 towns and villages in District 32. She had communicated with constituents through newsletters, a radio call-in show, in-person events and meetings, and social media. 

She supports smaller, more efficient government that she believes can translate to economic development and lower taxes.

As a Libertarian in the Legislature, she said, she has attempted to take a pragmatic approach to politics and find areas of compromise with people across the political spectrum. 

In July she began a monthly event in Crete called The Political Brew, in which she brings together other state senators and politicians for a public conversation. It's an effort, she said, to demonstrate political opponents can be collegial and converse about issues without engaging in name calling.

Ebke was formerly a Republican, but changed her registration to Libertarian after Gov. Pete Ricketts called out by name a number of Republican state senators for voting differently in the nonpartisan Legislature than he and the GOP wanted them to vote.

Ebke has said she actually agrees with Ricketts on a majority of issues, but does not march in lockstep because she analyzes issues independently. 

Ebke, 55, an adjunct college instructor, was raised in Fairbury and is married to Dr. Russ Ebke. 

On Tuesday, former Nebraska Family Alliance Director Al Riskowsky announced he would oppose Ebke in the election.

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

On Twitter @LJSLegislature.

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

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