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Lou Ann Linehan, who was former Sen. Chuck Hagel's chief of staff and later a State Department official in Iraq, might seek a seat in the Legislature next year.

She confirmed Thursday that she is looking at the possibility and expects to reach a decision by the end of the year.

Two candidates already have entered the 2016 contest to succeed Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha in the 39th District seat. McCoy will leave the Legislature at the conclusion of his second term at the end of next year.

In the race for the nonpartisan legislative seat are Pat Borchers, former dean of the Creighton University School of Law, and Bill Armbrust, a farmer. The district includes western Douglas County, Valley, Waterloo and the former town of Elkhorn.

Linehan and Borchers are Republicans; Armbrust is a Democrat.

Linehan was Hagel's top aide and adviser throughout his political career, moving into the role of chief-of-staff after successfully managing his 1996 campaign for the Senate.

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Later, she worked at the State Department and for a time was its deputy principal officer in Basrah, Iraq.

Armbrust announced his candidacy earlier this week.

"I know how to creatively balance multiple interests and build compromise among many to find solutions and accomplish goals," he said.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

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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