LINCOLN, Neb. — A former state senator for a sprawling Nebraska legislative district is challenging the residency of a candidate who says he lives in a renovated machine shed.
Tom Brewer and District 43 incumbent Al Davis were the only two candidates in the May primary, with Brewer getting 54 percent of vote, so under Nebraska election laws they both advance to the general election ballot on Nov. 8.
Brewer has said he lives in a shed in Gordon, telling the Omaha World-Herald that he built a “log home” inside the shed, with three bedrooms and three bathrooms.
“It’s where I live,” Brewer said. “It’s got all of my stuff here. My father lives here full time when I’m not here.”
But former state Sen. LeRoy Louden, who used to represent District 43, said in a Wednesday filing with the Nebraska secretary of state’s office that the shed isn’t listed or taxed as a residential property in the Sheridan County community, and Brewer’s real home is in Murdock, just outside Lincoln.
State law defines a person’s residence, for election purposes, as the place where he or she is “actually domiciled” and where “he or she has the intention of returning.”
The Murdock home was bought several years ago, Brewer said, when he was working in Omaha and his wife was working in Lincoln.
Louden’s complaint also included motor vehicle records that show that Brewer’s driver’s license lists his Murdock address.
“It is simply not credible for Mr. Brewer to claim to ‘reside’ in District 43 when the only evidence of this so-called residence are farm buildings that are not taxed as residential properties,” said Louden’s filing, which also asks that Brewer be disqualified from the legislative seat.
Neal Erickson with the secretary of state’s office said it would most likely have a response by next week.