‘We see a pathway to victory’: Sen. Geist will resign to focus on Lincoln mayoral race

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – State Sen. Suzanne Geist is stepping down from the Nebraska Legislature to go “all in” on her mayoral campaign.

“I didn’t really want to do this,” Geist said. “It’s kind of a bittersweet thing, I have to say. It’s not because I so terribly want to step down; it’s because I so terribly want to win this race.”

Geist said she has informed Gov. Jim Pillen and the clerk of the Legislature of her decision to step down.

Her resignation will be effective at the end of Thursday.

In the Lincoln primary election on Tuesday, Geist and Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird advanced to the May 2 general election.

Geist, a Republican, had about 34% of the vote, while Gaylor Baird, a Democrat, had 49%.

Stan Parker, another Republican on the primary ballot, earned nearly 10,000 votes, which are now up for grabs in the general election.

Channel 8 reached out to Gaylor Baird for an interview, but she did not respond.

Geist says her decision to resign will allow her to focus on fundraising, meeting constituents and dedicating more time to her campaign.

“We saw the results we expected to see,” she said. “We see a pathway to victory, and because of that, I’m ready to give it my all.”

Geist was elected to represent southeast Lincoln in 2016.

Pillen will be appointing Geist’s successor on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

In the past, then-Gov. Pete Ricketts would publicly announce applications for vacancies. He would interview applicants and pick a replacement within weeks of the announcement.

Pillen did not opt for this application process, and it’s unclear what process was used when deciding the replacement.

The immediate replacement will allow the Legislature’s conservatives to maintain their majority as the 2023 session enters its final weeks.

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