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Lancaster County Board

At least 11 people, including former candidates for the Nebraska Legislature, Lincoln City Council and the Nebraska Public Service Commission, have applied for a vacant seat on the Lancaster County Board.

Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon, Lancaster County Clerk Dan Nolte and Lancaster County Treasurer Rachel Garver will choose a successor for Jennifer Brinkman, a Democrat who had been the District 2 commissioner until she resigned to become Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird's chief of staff in May.

The applicants were Jim Ballard, David Boeckner, James Herrold, Cristy Joy, Shane Jensen, Greg Osborn, Larry Scherer, Tami Soper, Brodey Weber, Michael Wilson and Christa Yoakum.

The deadline to apply was the end of business Friday, but applications postmarked Friday that are received by Tuesday will be honored.

Many in the field have run for office or serve on key public boards.

Ballard, a Republican, narrowly lost his race for the seat in 2016 to Brinkman.

Herrold, a Libertarian, lost to Tammy Ward in the Lincoln City Council race for District 4 earlier this month.

Joy, a Democrat, serves on the City-County Planning Commission.

Osborn, a Republican, is a director on the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District.

Scherer, a Democrat, lost a race for Nebraska Legislature District 21 in 2016. 

Soper, a Democrat, had run unsuccessfully for that same legislative seat in 2008 and had previously sought election to the Lincoln City Council and to be Lancaster County Clerk. 

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Yoakum, a Democrat, narrowly lost an election for a seat on the Nebraska Public Service Commission last fall.

The full field of candidates will be released Wednesday, along with a schedule of interview times. Candidates will interview publicly with the three county officials June 7 and June 10 if necessary.

Each will pitch to that committee why they want to be a commissioner and what they'd hope to accomplish in their term. 

Public comment will be taken during the interview hearings.

Finalists will be chosen at a meeting June 10, then brought in for a second interview open to the public June 17. The committee will select the appointee by early July.

"We’re being substituted for 18,000 voters," Nolte said. "I’m going to spend as much time as we need to."

The five-person board manages county funds, oversees county property, adopts annual budgets, administers several programs established by state law, as well as sets tax levies and salaries of elected and appointed county officials.

Commissioners are paid about $46,000 annually.

The district covers northwest Lancaster County and generally extends from downtown Lincoln and west to Emerald and the county line.

The term runs until Jan. 7, 2021, and the seat will be on the ballot in 2020.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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