LINCOLN, Neb. — An Omaha woman with a background in public affairs and civic engagement is seeking a seat in the Nebraska Legislature.

Machaela Cavanaugh kicked off her campaign Thursday to represent Legislative District 6, an area that includes central and west-central Omaha.

Cavanaugh works at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska. She previously served as director of development for Opera Omaha and also was a staff assistant to former Democratic U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson.

Cavanaugh is the daughter of former U.S. Rep. John Cavanaugh, a Democrat from the 2nd congressional district.

Machaela Cavanaugh says she will focus on property taxes, education, senior issues and jobs if elected. She is running for the seat held by current state Sen. Joni Craighead.