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Editorial, 10/14: Races offer solid choices, real contrasts

From the The Journal Star Editorial Board's endorsements for Nebraska's general election series
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NewsVu: Educate yourself: 2022 General Election Voter's Guide

READ MORE: To see the Journal Star's complete Voters' Guide, with candidate questionnaires and videos of editorial board endorsement interviews, point your smartphone camera at the QR code, then tap the link.

For Lancaster County Attorney, the Journal Star editorial board endorses Adam Morfeld.

Voters are faced with a simple choice for County Attorney – continue the status quo with incumbent Republican Pat Condon or transform to face a changing community in a pivotal moment with Democrat state Sen Adam Morfeld.

Condon, who has been a county prosecutor for 32 years, cites his courtroom experience, office management and work to create drug and veterans courts in his campaign to keep him on the job.

Morfeld, with management and legislative experience, would prioritize increasing use of problem solving courts, fairness in prosecution and sentencing, transparency and would use the office to investigate state issues in its jurisdiction because of state government’s operations in the county and to press for legislative criminal justice and sentencing reform.

Condon has been an effective but very traditional conservative county attorney. Morfeld has earned the opportunity to make those operations more contemporary and responsive to the county’s increasingly diverse population.

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For Lancaster County Public Defender, the Journal Star editorial board endorses Kristi Egger.

Egger, a Democrat, quit her job as a 32-year deputy public defender to run for and bring new leadership to the office. That leadership would include hands-on work in the courtroom, reviewing case loads to better serve clients and county taxpayers by reducing the number of cases referred to outside attorneys, and expanding efforts to increase the use of problem-solving courts.

Republican Trevin Preble is aiming at changing the office’s culture, too, increasing the use of problem solving courts and other tools to address any client’s mental health and substance abuse issues and would bring his experience as a criminal defense attorney to the courtroom.

Egger's experience and career-long dedication to the office, however, earn her the endorsement.

• • • 

For Lancaster County Clerk of the District Court, the Journal Star editorial board endorses Troy Hawk.

Incumbent Republican Hawk is seeking his third term as clerk of the district court and would continue the modernization efforts he has brought to the office, work to increase public access to the electronic management system and use his background as an attorney in running the office.

His opponent, Democrat Lin Quezner, would work to increase public access, diversity and equity in the office. But Hawk’s track record earns him the endorsement.

• • • 

For State Board of Education District, the Journal Star editorial board endorses Helen Raikes.

Raikes, a retired University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor of child, youth and family studies, will bring her lifetime of work on education and child development to the board.

Her opponent, incumbent Kirk Penner, who declined a meeting with the editorial board, was appointed by Gov. Pete Ricketts and has led efforts against proposed sex education standards.

Raikes, who is running to shield schools from culture war politics, is the better choice.

About our endorsements

As with all of our editorial board opinions, our election endorsements don’t necessarily reflect the unanimous opinions of our members but rather a consensus. We arrive at them after candidate interviews, reviewing news stories and research. While we consider the board an advocate for the community, our endorsements, and all our opinions, are intended to initiate discussion.

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