Senator features

Armendariz brings moderate voice to the Capitol

Above: Sen. Christy Armendariz (fourth from left) with family at her son’s wedding in 2022.

According to Omaha Sen. Christy Armendariz, the most important approach that a person can take to life and lawmaking is to open one’s mind, talk less and listen more.

“I’m a negotiator by trade and … listening to all sides of an argument — maybe from a 30,000 foot view if you can — instead of having a real emotionally vested interest in it [benefits] all people,” Armendariz said.

A native of northeast Omaha, Armendariz recalls hunting for garter snakes, playing in the mud and fishing with her older brother — all activities that involved her favorite place: the outdoors.

Now, as a busy state senator with a full-time job, Armendariz’s solace remains the outdoors — except now that looks like grabbing a pair of headphones, hopping on her lawn mower and trimming the grass around her acreage.

“Personally, I like getting on my 60-inch, zero-turn lawn mower and just zoning out after so much work and my mind being so full,” she said. “That’s my reprieve — at least for six months of the year.”

After graduating from Omaha Tech High, Armendariz married husband Ralph and became a mother to three children: Lauren, Alex and Gabrielle. In 2004, when Ralph unexpectedly lost his job, Armendariz said she realized that not having a college education left her unable to help the family financially when they needed her the most. She started taking business classes, a decision that would change her life in more ways than one.

Armendariz earned a degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009 at age 42. She said education not only opened up career opportunities, but also helped her find the extroverted side of her personality and reach her full potential.

“After I went back and got my degree, my whole outlook changed from what it was before and I pretty much became unstoppable after that,” Armendariz said.

She stepped into enterprise sales and later accepted a position at Nebraska Methodist Health System in Omaha where she continues to negotiate health care contracts. Her job also provided her the opportunity to obtain an M.B.A. from Nebraska Methodist College in 2021.

Armendariz didn’t start out with a plan to run for office, but the combination of confidence gained from career success and her belief that the Legislature could benefit from more moderate voices, led her to run for the open District 18 seat.

“There was a vast middle that wasn’t getting heard and I just decided, ‘I can do that,’” she said. “I have a voice and I think I can have that conversation in a productive way.”

Armendariz hopes to embody the theme of her campaign during her time at the Capitol: bringing the question, “What would a reasonable person do?” back into lawmaking.

Bookmark and Share