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The Latest: Omaha elects 1st openly bisexual state lawmaker

November 7, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Latest on Nebraska’s general election (all times local):

2 p.m.

Voters in midtown Omaha have elected Nebraska’s first openly bisexual senator to the state Legislature.

Megan Hunt was chosen Tuesday to represent Legislative District 8, an area that includes Omaha’s Dundee and Benson neighborhoods. Hunt defeated fellow Democrat Mina Davis in the officially nonpartisan race.

Hunt has acknowledged her sexuality publicly but says it doesn’t define her, and it wasn’t a major part of her campaign. She raised the issue once on her campaign website to voice support for members of the LGBT community who have come out, as well as those who have chosen to keep their orientation a secret.

The LGBTQ Victory Fund congratulated Hunt on her victory, calling it a milestone.

Hunt replaces state Sen. Burke Harr, who was barred by term limits from running again.

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10:40 a.m.

Lincoln voters have approved a charter amendment that limits the Lincoln mayor to three consecutive terms.

Lancaster County officials say nearly 53 percent of voters said yes to the proposal.

The amendment drive was led by several prominent Republicans. It applies retroactively, so Mayor Chris Beutler (BYT’-lur) can’t seek a fourth term next spring as planned. The Democrat has beaten Republican candidates in the last three mayoral elections.

A spokesman for the term limit supporters, Matt Innis, says people “don’t want people politicians having unchecked power.”

The mayor’s position is officially nonpartisan. Nebraska has a two-term limit for both the governor and the state legislators.

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9:35 a.m.

A Nebraska Public Service Commission candidate who campaigned on her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline has conceded to a Republican state lawmaker who has supported the project.

Democrat Christa Yoakum, of Lincoln, acknowledged her loss Wednesday to Sen. Dan Watermeier, of Syracuse, in a race that focused heavily on the $8 billion project.

The Public Service Commission approved a route for the pipeline last November, but that decision is under review by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Yoakum’s supporters note that the race was the closest in recent history and vowed to continue fighting the pipeline.

Watermeier has said he ran for reasons unrelated to the pipeline. The commission regulates industries including taxicabs, telephone companies and grain elevators. His District 1 seat includes Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.

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9:15 a.m.

Democrat Kara Eastman has conceded to Republican U.S. Rep. Don Bacon in the race for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District.

Eastman said she planned to speak to Bacon Wednesday morning, hours after Bacon was declared the winner. Bacon will serve a second term in the district, which includes Omaha and most of its suburbs.

Eastman says she fought in the campaign for working people and those who don’t feel that their voices are heard by people in power. Eastman pitched herself as a progressive who supported Medicare-for-all, tuition-free college for lower- and middle-income students and greater gun control.

Bacon was first elected to the seat in 2016. The district is one of the few competitive seats in a state otherwise dominated by Republicans.

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5:50 a.m.

Voters in an eastern Nebraska community have decided to bar employing or renting residences to people living in the U.S. illegally.

The proposed ordinance in Scribner was approved by more than 69 percent of voters Tuesday. The Scribner City Council voted in July to put the issue on the general election ballot.

The push for such rules came as the area prepares for an influx of workers for Costco’s new chicken processing plant in neighboring Fremont. The Costco plant will employ 1,000 workers when it opens next year and could change the face of Scribner, known to be a predominantly white farm town about 60 miles northwest of Omaha.

Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska and the Immigrant Legal Center of Omaha have spoken out against the ordinance.

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