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Stinner to run for Legislature
January 09, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - John P. Stinner Sr. signs the official documents making him a candidate for the District 48 representative for the Nebraska Legislature. He signed early Monday morning under the eye of County Clerk Vera Dulaney at the Scotts Bluff County Courthouse in Gering.

John Stinner Sr., president of Valley Bank and Trust Company, announced last weekend he’s running for the Nebraska Legislature in District 48.

Stinner, the current Chairman of the Nebraska Bankers Association, wants to succeed current State Senator John Harms, who will retire after this year due to term limits.

“Right now, the campaign is a listening tour,” Stinner said. “We’ll put together some focus groups and advisory people and try to start the dialog.”

The Stinner family has called Scotts Bluff County home for the past 26 plus years. The bank he started in downtown Gering has become a major regional employer with more than a dozen locations and an insurance agency. And in 2013, he was elected as chairman of the Nebraska Bankers Association.

“My impetus to run comes from my position with the Nebraska bankers,” he said. “I got heavily involved with the legislative side in how it related to capital and qualified mortgages. I’ve done face-to-face forums with national regulators and members of Congress on those issues.”

He said the experience has led him to understand what leadership is. And with term limits, the state Legislature loses valuable people every year, along with the institutional memory they bring.

“I think District 48 needs a strong voice in the Legislature,” Stinner said. “That’s why I’m running.”

Some of the issues state legislators continue to grapple with include taxes, economic growth, water issues and education.

“We have to grow and bring in new businesses to the state,” Stinner said. “We have to get our wage base up and have good paying jobs.”

Over the years, Stinner has been extensively involved in his community. Some of the organizations he’s worked with include the YMCA and Twin Cities Development. He also served as president of the Gering School Board.

A native of the Pittsburgh area, Stinner attended the University of Nebraska, where he played on Tom Osborn’s national championship football teams in 1970 and 1971. With a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he later earned a master’s degree in economics and accounting.

Stinner’s wife, Rita, is director of vocal music at Western Nebraska Community College. Their children, John Jr. and Cecilia, and their families, live nearby in the Scottsbluff-Gering area.
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