A program analyst for the state of Nebraska will seek one of three at-large seats on the Lincoln City Council in the May city election.

Bennie Shobe said he is running to be a voice for working people.

“Lincoln is a great place to live, but we have to make sure that our high quality of life is available to people from all walks of life, not just those at the top," he said in a news release announcing his candidacy. "I want to make sure that someone is listening to the people of Lincoln and will truly hear their concerns.”

Shobe, 56, works as a program analyst at the Department of Labor, and he teaches a criminal justice course as an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

He said his career and experiences are focused on employment and public safety, two issues he believes should be priorities for the council.

“Lincoln has a low unemployment rate, but that isn’t the full story,” Shobe said. “People are working multiple jobs, and many haven’t seen a raise in years. On top of that, many people are struggling to deal with the fact that housing costs are rising faster than their wages, and they are being pushed out of their neighborhoods. These are issues that must be addressed by a City Council that works for the people, and I will work toward that goal every day.”

Shobe has served on numerous community boards, neighborhood associations and advisory commissions.

He is on the Lincoln Police Hiring and Promotion Committee, Lincoln Commission on Human Rights and the Malone Community Center Board of Directors, has served as president of the Lincoln Branch NAACP and is a Project ALL graduate of the Leadership Lincoln initiative.

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He was awarded the 25th annual Distinguished Service Award by Leadership Lincoln in 2016.

Shobe is a registered Democrat. Although the council is elected on a nonpartisan basis, the parties do help support and fund candidates. 

In May, city voters will elect three people as at-large council members, meaning they represent the entire city.

At-large incumbents Roy Christensen and Leirion Gaylor Baird have said they will seek re-election. The third at-large member of the council, Trent Fellers, has said he will not. 

Others who have said they are running are local business owners Brayden McLaughlin and Tom Nesbitt, Deb Andrews and Louis Braatz III.

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Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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