Senator features

Flyer, communicator lands new role in the Legislature

Above: Sen. Loren Lippincott next to a U.S. Navy F/A-18F at Northwest Arkansas National Airport in 2019.

As an airline pilot for 30 years, Sen. Loren Lippincott of Central City flew to destinations in 53 countries and all 50 states, but he has always considered Nebraska his home.

“I’ve lived in different places,” he said. “I have always been a Nebraskan.”

Lippincott and his three siblings grew up on the family farm near Central City. He said his parents, who served on several local boards and made a point of discussing ideas at the dinner table, were early political influences. Their communication style made a lasting impression, Lippincott said.

“They were always respectful of each other — they never talked on top of each other,” he said. “They communicated their thoughts and ideas very well.”

Lippincott’s parents also introduced him to Sen. Maurice Kremer of Aurora, who served in the Legislature from 1963 to 1983. Lippincott said Kremer mentored him while he worked as a legislative page during his junior and senior years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Lippincott was fascinated by radio as a youth. At night, he would walk to the barn to sit in his family’s car, where reception was best, so he could listen to the disc jockeys at his favorite Chicago station.

Lippincott himself later worked as a DJ at a Lincoln radio station and anchored the midnight newscast at the local CBS affiliate, which hired him full time after he graduated from UNL with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Two years later, however, he decided to change course and pursue his lifelong interest in aviation, which had been sparked by his parents, both of whom had held a private pilot’s license. After joining the U.S. Air Force in 1980 and serving as an instructor pilot for three years, Lippincott received his dream assignment: flying F-16s in Germany.

“It is as close to being in love with something that is mechanical and non-living as you can possibly get,” he said.

Lippincott completed his commitment to the Air Force in 1990 and was hired by Delta Airlines. He spent much of his career living in Atlanta.

In 2020, after retiring from Delta, Lippincott moved back to the farmhouse where he grew up and began his campaign for the Legislature. Although his mother, Rosalie, died last year at 94, both she and his father would have been “fired up” to see him in elected office, Lippincott said.

“Every time anybody would come and see her at the retirement home where she lived,” he said, “she’d give them my campaign material.”

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