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Gwen Howard
Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 9th district
In office
Preceded byChip Maxwell
Succeeded bySara Howard
Personal details
Born (1945-06-24) June 24, 1945 (age 75)
Douglas County, Nebraska
ResidenceOmaha, Nebraska
Alma materUniversity of Nebraska
OccupationSocial worker

Gwen E. Howard (born 1945) is a politician from the U.S. state of Nebraska. She served two terms in the Nebraska Legislature, from 2005 to 2013, representing an Omaha district.

Howard was born Gwen E. Middaugh, on June 24, 1945, in Douglas County, Nebraska. She graduated from Omaha Benson High School in 1963. In 1967, she received a degree in sociology and psychology from Midland Lutheran College; in 1974, a master's degree in social work from the University of Nebraska Omaha. She married David Howard, who was killed in a car accident in 1981; and had two daughters, Carrie Howard and Sara Howard. She worked as a social worker and adoption specialist.[1][2][3]

In 2004, Howard ran for the Nebraska Legislature from the 9th District, consisting of a portion of midtown Omaha.[4] Incumbent Chip Maxwell, a member of the Republican Party, had decided to run for the Douglas County Board of Commissioners rather than seeking re-election.[5][6] In the nonpartisan primary, Democrat Howard received 43% of the vote; Republican Scott Knudsen, a Republican mortgage banker who had unsuccessfully run for the seat in 2000, received 32%; and R. Anthony Metz received 25%.[6][7][8] As the top two vote-getters, Howard and Knudsen moved on to the general election, in which Howard won the seat, with 56.7% of the vote to Knudsen's 43.3%.[9]

In 2008, Howard ran unopposed for re-election to her seat in the Legislature.[10][11]

During her legislative career, Howard served as vice-chairperson of the Education Committee and the Committee on Committees; she also sat on the Health and Human Services Committee and the Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee, and as one of Nebraska's seven commissioners in the interstate Education Commission of the States.[12][13]

Nebraska's term-limits law left Howard ineligible to run for a third consecutive term in the Legislature in 2012. She ran for the 2nd District seat in the U.S. Congress, held by Republican Lee Terry. In the Democratic primary, she lost to Douglas County treasurer John Ewing, taking 38% of the vote to Ewing's 62%.[2][14] Ewing lost the general election, with 49.2% of the vote to incumbent Terry's 50.8%.[15] Meanwhile, Howard's daughter, Sara Howard, ran for the seat that Howard was vacating. Sara, a Democrat, came in first in the three-way nonpartisan primary, and defeated Republican Erica Fish in the general election.[16][17][18]

In 2014, Howard was elected to an at-large seat on the Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) board. MUD is a publicly owned utility that provides water and natural gas to the Omaha metropolitan area.[19][20][21]


  1. ^ Nebraska Blue Book 2004–2005, p. 303. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  2. ^ a b Murray, Robyn. "Howard jumps into race for Congress". KVNO News. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  3. ^ Dircks, Mary Lee Harvey. "Senator Sara Howard". Today's Omaha Woman. Winter 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  4. ^ For a map of the Omaha districts, including District 9, as they were from 2001 to 2011, see Nebraska Cities, Villages, and Counties: Their Location Within the Legislative Districts Established by Laws 2001, LB 852, p. 60 (p. 68 of the PDF file); Nebraska Legislature; retrieved 2015-02-27. For a street map of District 9, see "Legislative District 9 - LB 852 (2001)"; Nebraska Legislature; retrieved 2015-02-27.
  5. ^ "Legislature losing 74 years of experience next year". Fremont Tribune. 2004-04-10. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  6. ^ a b Bauer, Scott. "Legislature to have more women, Democrats". Lincoln Journal Star. 2004-11-07. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  7. ^ "Legislative Races Feature Historic First, Three Incumbent Upsets". Yankton Press & Dakotan. 2000-11-09. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  8. ^ "Member of the Legislature" (2004 primary results). Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  9. ^ "Member of the Legislature" (2004 general election results). Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  10. ^ Howard, Ed. "Kleeb: Bright hope for Democrats". North Platte Bulletin. 2008-06-02.
  11. ^ "Official Results of Nebraska General Election - November 4, 2008", p. 16. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  12. ^ Nebraska Blue Book 2010–2011, p. 295. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  13. ^ "2012 ECS Annual Report" Archived January 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, p. 12. Retrieved 2015-02-27. Archived 2015-01-18 at Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: Primary Election, May 15, 2012", p. 27. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  15. ^ "Official Results of Nebraska General Election - November 6, 2012", p. 13. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  16. ^ Mastre, Brian. "District 9 Race: Newcomers With Experience". WOWT. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  17. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: Primary Election, May 15, 2012", p. 33. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  18. ^ "Official Results of Nebraska General Election - November 6, 2012", p. 14. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  19. ^ Winchester, Cody. "Last at-large election to bring at least one new Metropolitan Utilities District board member". Omaha World-Herald. 2014-10-26. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  20. ^ "Your New Board of Directors!" Metropolitan Utilities District. Retrieved 2015-02-27. Archived 2015-02-27 at Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ "About Us". Metropolitan Utilities District. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
This page was last edited on 12 October 2018, at 11:24
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