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Gov. Pete Ricketts on Wednesday appointed 22-year-old Julie Slama of Peru to a seat in the Legislature representing southeast Nebraska's 1st District.

Slama, who has worked with special-needs students as a substitute paraprofessional in the Auburn Public Schools, was press secretary for the governor's successful re-election campaign. 

Slama will succeed Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse effective Jan. 9 when he leaves the Legislature to become a member of the Public Service Commission.

Watermeier was elected to the new post last month. 

"Julie will push for property tax relief, help create policy that supports strong families and work to grow agriculture," Ricketts said.

"She will be a fierce advocate for rural communities and will help bridge the urban-rural divide in the Legislature."

Slama, a 2018 graduate of Yale University with a degree in political science, said she will work to "cut property taxes, protect our pro-life values and create more opportunities for our farm families."

At Yale, Slama was a member of the William F. Buckley Jr. Program and director of operations for the Yale Daily News.

Slama, who graduated from Auburn High School in 2014, is eligible to serve two years before facing election in 2020. District 1 includes all of Richardson, Pawnee, Nemaha and Johnson counties and most of Otoe County.

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On Twitter @LJSDon.


Political reporter

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

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