Lincoln attorney and active community volunteer Patty Pansing Brooks announced her intention Tuesday to seek a seat in the Nebraska Legislature in 2014.

The District 28 seat is held by Sen. Bill Avery, who will leave the Legislature because of term limits.

"I really feel like I've been planning this for years," she said. "I feel like it's just the correct step in my journey. ... I hope to be able to work with people and make a positive contribution to the state and the city." 

She has been vice president and co-founder of Brooks, Pansing Brooks law firm in Lincoln since 1986. In 2009, she was senior policy counsel and mayoral aide to Mayor Chris Beutler.

She also has co-chaired a number of fund-raising campaigns, including the $9.6 million campaign for Nebraska's Centennial Mall in Lincoln, the $6 million Union Plaza fundraiser and a successful $250 million Lincoln Public Schools bond issue. 

"I have had the great fortune of working in a large portion of our community," she said. "I have been able to work heavily in the realm of education."

She also has served on the community boards of the Lincoln Parks Foundation, Family Service and the Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln. 

She has the perspective of owning a small business, with concerns about taxes and payroll, she said. 

"I feel like I have a really broad foundation of knowledge that I can bring to this office," Pansing Brooks said. "I have some experience to offer, at least a basis to be able to listen to people and to understand what their issues are and be able to become a good advocate for them."

She attended Lincoln Public Schools and has a bachelor's degree in political science from Colorado College and a law degree from the University of Nebraska.

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Pansing Brooks is a Democrat and said she is working hard to get both parties involved in her campaign.

She is the third generation of her family to live, work and raise children in the district, along with her husband, Loel Brooks. She lives at 1925 Dakota St.

A Sutherland man also has announced he will seek the District 42 seat of Sen. Tom Hansen in the Legislature next year.

Roric Paulman, who with his wife, Debra, owns and operates Paulman Farms in Sutherland, has interests in state water resources and planning for the future of rural Nebraska.

Reach JoAnne Young at 402-473-7228 or jyoung@journalstar.com -- You can follow JoAnne's tweets at twitter.com/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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