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Early candidates make intentions known
January 02, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
As 2014 begins, numerous candidates have already filed to run for Nebraska’s open gubernatorial and U.S. Senate seats, but some closer-to-home races are also starting to take shape.

Gering will choose a mayor this year. Incumbent Ed Mayo is seeking re-election, saying a number of issues still need to resolved, including the city’s downtown redevelopment plan.
Mayo will be challenged by Tony Kaufman, vice president and business development officer with Platte Valley Bank.

A Gering resident since 2005, Kaufman has served on the boards of Panhandle Cooperative Associations, J.G Elliott Insurance Center and Riverside Discovery Center. He’s also served on the Government Affairs Committee of the Scottsbluff-Gering United Chamber of Commerce, Congressman Adrian Smith’s Economic and Business Advisory Committee and the Harms Advanced Technology Center’s Incubator Committee.

Kaufman said there are a lot of big issues facing Gering and he believes a new vision is needed to move the city forward.

Four council seats are also up for re-election in Gering. In Ward IV, incumbent Jill McFarland will be challenged by Phil Holliday. Ward III incumbent council member Julie Morrison will also seek another term.

In Ward I, incumbent Dan Smith is up for re-election. But as of Monday afternoon, he said he’s undecided as to whether he’ll run again.

In Ward II, council member Rebecca Shields is up for re-election. She was unavailable for comment whether she would seek a third term.

In the election for Gering School Board, incumbent Mary Winn has filed for another term and newcomer Brady Shaul is also in the race.

In non-partisan races, if only two candidates file for a position, they will appear on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

U.S. Congressman Adrian Smith of Gering, who has served Nebraska’s Third District since 2006, may have a challenger this year. Retired Army Colonel Tom Brewer is expected to announce he’ll challenge Smith in the state’s Republican primary on May 13.

The 54-year-old Brewer is a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe and grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He recently retired from a 36-year career in the Army Reserve, which saw him deployed six times, including twice to Afghanistan.

If Brewer announces his candidacy, it would be his first foray into politics.

According to Scotts Bluff County Election Commissioner Vera Dulaney, incumbents have until Feb. 18 to file for office, even if they’re seeking a different position. Non-incumbents have until March 3 to file.

Dulaney said anyone who wants to file for public office is encouraged to call her at (308) 436-6604 with any questions.
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