LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — UPDATE: 5:00 PM
Gov. Pete Ricketts announced on Wednesday that Michael Jacobson, President & CEO of NebraskaLand Bank in North Platte, will represent District 42 in the Nebraska Legislature following Mike Groene's resignation last week.
Ricketts said typically an appointee position would be opened for people to apply, but because the legislative session is halfway over, he wanted to find a replacement quickly.
The governor interviewed five candidates, ultimately picking Jacobson to represent District 42.
"He’s going to be an advocate for efficient and effective government, for family values and for making sure we’re creating opportunities for families here in the state of Nebraska," Ricketts said.
Jacobson, whose daughter is a lobbyist with Nebraska Strategies, describes himself as a fiscal and social conservative who is against raising taxes, abortion and recreational marijuana.
“I really want to make sure that we can continue to keep the conservative values that we hold in the 42nd District and really help move forward that agenda for the entire state," Jacobson said.
He was sworn in during a press conference on Wednesday and said he'd be spending his first day meeting with the senators who had picked up his predecessor's legislative bills.
With roughly 30 days left in the session, the new senator said he would be relying on his fellow senators to guide him through the process.
“I understand the political process; I understand how bills are done," Jacobson said. "But I also understand this is day one and I’m a newbie. So I’m going to rely very heavily on others in the legislature to help guide me this first time through. And I just hope I can be a positive difference and get up to speed quickly.”
Jacobson said he plans to run for the seat come November.
According to the assistant secretary of state for Nebraska, Jacobson would not be considered an incumbent and has until March 1 to file for election. As of Wednesday afternoon, he had not filed.
According to a press release from the Governor's office:
Jacobson grew up on a share-rented farm near Sutton and supported himself through college. Jacobson is a graduate of Sutton High School and holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics/Agricultural Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
After returning to farm and teach for a short time in Red Cloud, he began a banking career in 1980 as an Agricultural Lending Officer at City National Bank in Hastings. In 1984, he moved to Lincoln and worked as Senior Vice President/Division Manager of The National Bank of Commerce. After a decade in Lincoln, he relocated to North Platte in 1994 to serve as Chairman, President, and CEO of Western Nebraska National Bank. In 1998, he became the Founder and Principal Shareholder of NebraskaLand Bank in North Platte. He’s successfully grown the bank to over $850 million in total assets with branches in Kearney and Rock Springs, Wyoming.
“Mike is a Nebraska native who exemplifies our state’s entrepreneurialism and hard work,” said Ricketts. “He will be a champion for efficient and effective government, responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars, and our state’s strong family values. His successful leadership as a community banker has given him valuable insights that will help to grow Nebraska.”
Jacobson has served on the boards of several North Platte-area organizations and has been active in professional and educational groups throughout the state of Nebraska. The appointee was sworn in at the event by Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican.
Watch the press conference below or on the 3 News Now Facebook page.