Kuehn not seeking re-election to the legislature

Sen. John Kuehn shares a laugh with Sen. Dan Hughes on the floor of the legislature (NTV News)

State Senator John Kuehn will not seek re-election in 2018.

Kuehn is from Heartwell in Kearney County, and has brought a rural perspective to the legislature. He is a veterinarian and rancher, and has also taught biology at Hastings College.

Kuehn current chairs the Performance Audit Committee and is on the budget-setting Appropriations Committee, as well as the legislature's Executive Board.

Kuehn, a registered Republican, is seen as a conservative in the body, who has supported rural issues.

In a statement to NTV he said, "It has been such an honor to have the responsibility of serving my constituents. I will always have a heart for serving my community, but as our founders intended, it is time for me to return home to my work and family."

Democrats call it a "shocking move", noting that Kuehn is "very close to Gov. Ricketts." Democratic Chair Jane Kleeb said the party is talking to several possible candidates in the district.

There are currently no candidates who have filed for office in District 38, which includes Phelps, Kearney, Franklin, Webster, Nuckolls, and Clay Counties as well as the southwestern portion of Buffalo County.

Kuehn previously served as an elected member of the Southern Power District board of directors. He ran unopposed for the legislature in 2014.

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