Gov. Dave Heineman welcomes a familiar face back to the Unicameral.
“I may be one of the few in this building who would say this, but I’m glad Sen. Ernie Chambers is coming back,” Heineman tells reporters during a news conference. “It will be good for the legislature and it will be good for the state of Nebraska.”
Term limits forced Ernie Chambers to leave the legislature. He sat out a term, as required by law, and then defeated incumbent Brenda Council to reclaim the 11th Legislative Seat of north Omaha. Council had weakened her position to win re-election when she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of using campaign funds to gamble.
Chambers won easily Tuesday, receiving nearly 67% of the vote; defeating Chambers 6,186 to 3,085.
Heineman says it will be good for the Unicameral when the veteran state senator returns.
“I respect Sen. Chambers. You might be surprised, I feel like we have a good working relationship with him. We may only agree on only one or two issues out of ten, but we can talk very straightforwardly and very directly about the issues that we care about,” according to Heineman.
Chambers served in the Unicameral 38 years until term limits forced him out. Chambers became notorious during his tenure for using whatever means at his disposal to champion or kill legislation.
Heineman says Chambers will force lawmakers to do their homework.
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman comments on the return of Sen. Ernie Chambers [1 min]