Lindstrom propelled by history

Above: Sen. Brett Lindstrom and his wife, Leigh, have a “super” Halloween with daughter Colette and son Barron.

As a history major, Sen. Brett Lindstrom’s favorite era to study was the Industrial Revolution.

“It really laid the groundwork for us as a country to build power and economic prosperity,” he said. “Much of what we enjoy today in the United States stems from that moment in time.”

The era’s optimism and value of hard work seems to have propelled Lindstrom’s determination like a steam engine.

A quarterback on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s football team from 1999 to 2003, he said football helped him be more assertive and overcome a lot of his natural shyness.

“Coming up in that competitive environment really helped when I decided to run for office. It gave me confidence in my abilities and taught me about perseverance and facing adversity.”

He accepted early on that his future was not that of a professional athlete and became a financial advisor in Omaha where he lives with wife, Leigh, and their two children: three-year-old daughter Colette and one-year-old son Barron.

“I had accepted that I wasn’t going to turn pro pretty early on,” he says good-naturedly, pointing to the metal screws in his foot.

Lindstrom aimed high for his first foray into public service. In 2012 he ran for Congress, looking to unseat incumbent Rep. Lee Terry in the 2nd Congressional District.

He came in second place, earning 23 percent of the vote. The experience might have made others leery of immediately running for another public office, but Lindstrom looked at his defeat differently.

“I like to go big—I don’t have any regrets,” he says with a grin. “I hate to lose, but it’s not the worst thing in the world.”

Undeterred, Lindstrom made the decision to run for the Nebraska Legislature’s District 18 days later. He won with 55 percent of the vote.

On his first day as a freshman state senator, he took another bold step by running for chairperson of the Legislature’s Retirement Committee, narrowly losing by one vote. Lindstrom said at the time that with 18 new senators, the new members needed to be willing to take on leadership roles early.

Lindstrom intends to focus his attention on working with his colleagues to ensure Nebraska’s economic stability. He’s learning that nothing can happen without cooperation and compromise, he said, adding that he has been impressed with his colleagues from across the state.

“Honestly, the people I thought I’d butt heads with are the people I find myself working with the most,” he says. “It’s amazing when you can find that commonality with such a diverse group of people.”

Lindstrom is mindful that he has only a limited amount of time to push his goals forward in this office. Until the steam runs out on his term, he has a single goal in mind.

“When I leave the Legislature, I hope that I leave it a better place than when I came.”

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