Sen. Lambert energized by people, public service

Above: Sen. Lambert (center) credits the work ethic instilled by his parents as the reason he enjoys public service.

As a young boy growing up on a small farm east of Murray, Sen. R. Paul Lambert developed an appreciation for hard work and an affinity for serving others.

“I saw the respect that everyone gave my mother as a teacher,” he said, adding that his mother taught elementary school for 42 years.

His father farmed, worked in a factory and, in his later years, helped establish the Cass County Rural Water District 1. He subsequently served on its board of directors.

“I guess I learned a little from him about how rewarding it can be to help other people,” Lambert said.

“At that time, I did not appreciate the work ethic that was instilled in me,” he said. “If I could say it today, I would tell [my parents] thank you. There is something to be said for the value of good, hard work.”

Lambert is a graduate of Nehawka High School and attended Wayne State College and the University of Omaha.

His work experience spans a variety of professions, including broker, sales, construction, the iron industry and numerous tire companies.

In 1981, he moved to Plattsmouth, where he served on the city council. In 1999, the council elected him president. When the mayor became terminally ill, he became Plattsmouth’s mayor and was re-elected to the office twice.

During that time, Lambert discovered that he, too, enjoys working with others toward a goal of public service. Serving in the Legislature seemed like a natural progression from there.

He was appointed Oct. 7 by Gov. Dave Heineman to represent Legislative District 2.

“When I heard [Sen. Dave Pankonin] was going to resign, I thought this would be the next step to take,” he said. “My sincere desire is to leave [my] district and this state better than I found it.”

The experience he gained working in city government will help him serve that purpose, he said.

“We had some of the same issues at the city level that we do at the state level,” he said. “There are a lot of parallels, just on a different scale.”

He married his wife, Patty Long, in 1992 and has one stepdaughter, Lisa, and four grandchildren.

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