Jeff Kirkpatrick, the Lincoln city attorney, is running for mayor in next year’s city election.
“I’m announcing my candidacy for mayor today because it is time we make sure Lincoln’s future is one where all children, families, businesses and working people do well,” Kirkpatrick said.
“In order to do that, we must get back to the basics — the foundations that truly make communities great — our streets, our roads, our public safety, our children’s education, a strong economy, and providing people the tools they need to succeed,” Kirkpatrick said in a news release announcing his candidacy.
Kirkpatrick graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law, where he was the editor-in-chief of the Law Review. He clerked for Judge D. Nick Caporale of the Nebraska Supreme Court before beginning the practice of law, according to his news release.
Kirkpatrick is the second Democrat to announce his candidacy since the voters approved a term-limits amendment last week, limiting the Lincoln mayor to three consecutive terms.
That vote means Mayor Chris Beutler cannot seek a fourth term as planned and it opened up the election to other Democrats.
Councilwoman Leirion Gaylor Baird, a Democrat, announced last week she will be a candidate for mayor.
Councilwoman Cyndi Lamm, who announced several weeks ago that she will run for mayor, is the only Republican who has stepped forward so far.
Two candidates registered as nonpartisan — Krystal Gabel and Andy Ringsmuth — have also announced they are running for mayor.
Kirkpatrick has served as Lincoln city attorney since 2014, when he was appointed to the top attorney job by Beutler. He is also serving as interim director of the Lincoln Human Rights Commission.
Kirkpatrick said he expects to continue as city attorney until sometime in January, when he will go on leave. Kirkpatrick said he hopes to have a new Human Rights Commission director hired and in place before he leaves.
Kirkpatrick had worked as an assistant city attorney for four years and was part-owner in the McHenry Haszard Law firm before that. He has also taught a number of classes at the Nebraska College of Law.
Kirkpatrick said as mayor, he “will continue my positive, decisive leadership."
"When our kids were threatened by smoke shops selling K2, as city attorney I took immediate action. I ended it. That is the same creative, problem-solving approach Lincoln needs in its next mayor,” he said.
The last decade, great things have happened in Lincoln, said Kirkpatrick, a reference to Beutler’s tenure. “But I have a renewed vision for a Lincoln moving forward, to build a future for all of us now,” he said.
Kirkpatrick’s public service also includes serving for 10 years on the Lincoln City Library Board and on a Lincoln Airport economic development board. He has also served on several community foundation boards.
The mayor’s race is officially nonpartisan and no party names are listed with candidates on the ballot. However, the Republican and Democratic parties do recruit and support candidates.