harrods ugg boots Three candidates in SW Nebraska race focus on water
Three Republican candidates are looking to replace term limited State Sen. Mark Christensen in a district that comprises 10 counties and includes the city of McCook and most of the Republican River basin.
Corn and wheat farming are staples of the district’s economy, making irrigation, water and property taxes on agricultural land big issues for voters.
Earlier this month, Gov. Dave Heineman signed Legislative Bill 1098 into law, which provides state funding for water projects and revamps the Natural Resources Commission to oversee the funding’s allocation. It also requires the three natural resources districts in the Republican River Valley to work with state officials on developing a basinwide water management plan.
It’s a good place to start, candidates Dennis Berry, Dan Hughes and Steve Stroup all agreed, but it doesn’t solve all of southwest Nebraska’s water issues.
Berry, 63, of McCook, said he strongly favors LB 1098 but doesn’t think it goes far enough, given the disparity in water usage among the three NRDs. He is also concerned that the bill fails to constrain water usage to levels that match nature’s ability to replace it.
Hughes, 57, of Venango, said Nebraskans have to use less water and find sustainable solutions.
Age: 63Home: McCook
Occupation: Principal of McCook Junior High School and mayor of McCook
Public offices held: McCook mayor; 2004 to 2014; McCook City Council, 1994 to 1996
Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Chadron State College, educational specialist’s degree from University of Nebraska at Kearney