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Nebraska Road Worker Wins Primary Contest for County Commissioner

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June 23, 2008

Dean Speth, running for Otoe County Board of Commissioners.

Photo Credit: George Forst


Dean Speth, a road grade operator and long-time member of Nebraska Public Employees/AFSCME Local 251, is on his way to winning a seat on the Otoe County Board of Commissioners.

 An employee of the Otoe County Highway Department, Speth, 63, won 28 percent of the votes cast in a five-way Republican primary contest, defeating the second-place finisher by 10 votes (out of 679 cast). He now runs, unopposed, in the November general election.

On the campaign trail, Speth raised big issues about how to improve his community. But the Unadilla resident also gives a more personal motivation for running for office: to improve the working conditions of the road department.

John Schwope, seeking re-election to a local natural resources board.


“I just think it would be a lot easier if everybody got along a little bit better,” says Speth. “Like I told the guys, ‘You can’t run a big piece of machinery with one eye on the ground and one eye on your back.’”

Also making local news is John Schwope, a traffic maintenance technician for the city of Omaha and a former executive board member of Local 251. Schwope is running for re-election to the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District board of directors. The district “has broad responsibilities to protect and enhance” Nebraska’s natural resources, according to the agency’s website.

Because he faces no opposition, the non-partisan post was not on the primary ballot.

Read more about Speth’s primary victory in the Nebraska City News-Press.