Scott Smathers of Lincoln, executive director of the Nebraska Sportsmen's Foundation and a member of the state's Natural Resources Commission, announced Monday he will seek a seat on the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

Smathers, a Republican, said the commission "needs leaders that are dedicated to fewer regulations in government" and committed to helping promote economic development.

If elected, he said, he would like to "continue the strong leadership" of Public Service Commissioner Frank Landis of Lincoln as the 1st District member of the commission.

"As a commissioner, I will continue along the same path Commissioner Landis has forged and work to build a better Nebraska," Smathers said.

Landis has not yet formally announced whether he will seek re-election next year. He's been a member of the commission since he was first elected in 1988.

The 1st District includes Lancaster, Gage, Cass, Otoe, Johnson, Nemaha, Pawnee and Richardson counties.

Smathers was appointed to the Natural Resources Commission by former Gov. Dave Heineman and reappointed by Gov. Pete Ricketts. He has been executive director of the Sportsmen's Foundation for the past seven years.

"With my conservative, pro-business values, I know I have what it takes to represent the state of Nebraska on our Public Service Commission," he said.

The commission has regulatory authority over a wide range of economic activity, including telecommunications companies, transportation carriers, electric transmission lines, natural gas utilities and railroads.

Ron Nolte of Plattsmouth, a former Cass County board member and a Republican, earlier announced his candidacy for the 1st District seat. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.

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Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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