Ernie Chambers reacts to residence review

Posted By: Nicole Cousins

The Nebraska legislature’s executive board is looking into a claim that challenges whether Senator Ernie Chambers is qualified to serve on the legislature.

The claim was filed by Chamber’s opponent in last November’s election, John Sciara, who says Chambers lives in Bellevue, not the North Omaha district he represents.

"The, I guess you call it challenge, will go nowhere,” Chambers said Wednesday. I’ve lived where I’ve lived for over — well for several decades."

Election rules require senators to have lived in the district they represent for at least a year.

Senator Dan Watermeier, who’s on the special committee that will review this challenge, said this type of dispute is different than others.

“We have several steps that we have to take, we feel like we are required to bring in some legal expertise outside of the body,” Watermeier said. “It’s really not fair to ask the internal workings of the capitol to examine one of their own members.”

Senator Chambers said he isn’t worried about the review. It’s just part of the process.

“All the man did was say he heard from people I don’t live where I live,” he said. “Once that is done no matter whether no facts whatsoever were given under the legislatures rules, the executive board has to form a committee, they have to look at it, even if they know at the outs that there’s nothing to it. They have to do it.”

Once the special committee completes its review, it will present it to the legislative body.

There, all senators will vote to either certify Chambers’ seat, or remove him from it.

Both senators Chambers and Watermeier said, even though this challenge has to do with internal policies rather than regulating the state, they don’t see this as a distraction, and are still focused on bettering Nebraska.