Aaron Sanderford

Aaron Sanderford

Political reporter Aaron Sanderford has tackled various news roles in his 20-plus year career. He has reported on politics, crime, courts, government and business for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star. He also worked as an assignment editor and editorial writer. He was an investigative reporter at KMTV.

Pillen leans into ‘opportunity scholarships’ debate

By: - January 25, 2023

LINCOLN — Before a press conference Tuesday promoting a potential state tax break for donors helping low-income parents pay for private school, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen spoke to 15 students from a Catholic grade school in his hometown. The governor high-fived students from Columbus St. Anthony, thanked them for joining the “school choice” event and […]

New U.S. Sen. Pete Ricketts is sworn in, casts first vote on ceremonial first day

By: - January 23, 2023

OMAHA — Nebraska has a new member of Congress after U.S. Sen. Pete Ricketts was sworn in Monday in the Old Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol, with Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., at his side. Gov. Jim Pillen appointed Ricketts to the vacant seat Jan. 12, when the Senate was in recess. Senators reconvened Monday […]

Nebraska GOP backs Californian Harmeet Dhillon as RNC chair

By: - January 21, 2023

OMAHA — The Nebraska Republican Party stepped into the fight Saturday over picking the next chair of the Republican National Committee. State GOP chair Eric Underwood let the State Central Committee decide whom he should support. The party’s steering committee voted 62-41 to support California lawyer Harmeet Dhillon over current RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who […]

Reception and Treatment Center

Omaha senator pushes Parole Board changes, marijuana decriminalization

By: - January 18, 2023

LINCOLN — Nebraska Parole Board members who miss more than three meetings a year would lose their seat on the panel that decides which state prisoners can re-enter society early, under a bill State Sen. Terrell McKinney of Omaha introduced Wednesday. He said he did so, in part, because board members have missed a number […]

Nebraska Gov. Pillen wants $2.5 billion in new funding for schools, property tax relief

By: - January 17, 2023

LINCOLN — Every school district in Nebraska would receive at least $1,500 per student in state aid for K-12 education, and the state would pick up more of the tab for special education, under a set of three school funding proposals that Gov. Jim Pillen unveiled Tuesday. “All of us in Nebraska agree on two […]

Masks in a shop window

Bill would require local mask mandates to get city council or county board approval

By: - January 17, 2023

LINCOLN — Nebraska’s local health directors, under a new legislative proposal, could no longer enact a directed health measure, such as a mask mandate, without the approval of their city council or county board and sign-off from state health officials. State Sen. Kathleen Kauth, a Republican initially appointed in June by former Gov. Pete Ricketts, […]

Constitutional amendment would eliminate State Board of Education

By: - January 13, 2023

LINCOLN — State Sen. Joni Albrecht of Thurston on Friday proposed letting voters weigh in on a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the Nebraska State Board of Education and give the governor control over the state Department of Education. This is at least the sixth time since the late 1980s that a similar measure has […]

Pillen, as expected, taps former Gov. Pete Ricketts to succeed Sasse in Senate

By: - January 12, 2023

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with live comments from Thursday’s announcement and interviews with supporters and critics.  LINCOLN — Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen made the expected choice Thursday, appointing his predecessor and political benefactor, Pete Ricketts, to the U.S. Senate. Ricketts, who finished his second term as governor last week, fills the seat […]

Nebraska anti-abortion senators proposing ‘heartbeat’ bill

By: - January 11, 2023

LINCOLN — Nebraskans would have about six weeks, and in many practical instances less, to decide on ending a pregnancy, instead of the current 20 weeks, under legislation anti-abortion senators plan to propose this session. The bill, expected this week, would ban abortions after an ultrasound can detect a “fetal heartbeat.” The bill specifies this […]

US Senate building

Ricketts, Lindstrom, Dinsdale, Slone, Ashford among Nebraska U.S. Senate applicants 

By: - January 10, 2023

OMAHA — The race to be appointed as Nebraska’s next U.S. senator is getting serious, with Gov. Jim Pillen interviewing candidates and mulling an appointment as early as this week. Pillen, a Republican, said Thursday he would name a replacement by the end of January for former U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. Sasse formally resigned […]

After big year for dark money, Blood proposes bill requiring donor disclosure

By: - January 9, 2023

OMAHA — Political donors spent more than $50 million on Nebraska’s state and local elections in 2022. But some spent more than campaign finance filings show. They did so by funding “dark money” groups that don’t have to disclose their donors. These groups operate in a gray area of political fundraising. One example: Former Nebraska […]

Nebraskans celebrate Gov. Jim Pillen at his inaugural ball

By: - January 7, 2023

OMAHA — About 3,500 Nebraskans dined, danced and feted the state’s new governor Saturday evening at the CHI Health Center convention hall in downtown Omaha. Gov. Jim Pillen’s inaugural ball attracted former governors and U.S. senators, including Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns. Members of Nebraska’s current congressional delegation  attended, too, including U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, […]