|Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 8th district
|Preceded by||Tom White|
|Born||October 13, 1971|
Burke Harr (born October 13, 1971) is a politician from the U.S. state of Nebraska. Harr is a member of the Nebraska Legislature, in which he represents the 8th legislative district in Omaha, consisting of the midtown neighborhoods of Dundee and Benson and the neighborhoods that surround Creighton Preparatory School.
Harr was born in Illinois. He grew up in Omaha, where he graduated from Creighton Preparatory School in 1990; he then attended the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. He subsequently studied law at the University of Notre Dame. He returned to Omaha for a clerkship with the Nebraska Court of Appeals, then worked as a Douglas County prosecutor, practiced real-estate law, and co-founded a business consulting firm.
In 2010, incumbent legislator Tom White declined to run for re-election, instead running for the position of U.S. Representative. In the nonpartisan primary election, Harr won 41% of the vote; businessman John Comstock won 31%; and Richard Ream won 28%. Harr, a member of the Democratic Party, opposed proposed across-the-board spending cuts to balance the state budget; Comstock, a Republican described as a Tea Party supporter, favored reducing the government's budget and ultimately eliminating the state's income tax. In the general election, Harr defeated Comstock by a margin of 51%–49%.
In 2014, Harr sought re-election to his legislative seat. He was challenged by Gwenn Aspen, a Republican property manager. Aspen was seeking office for the first time; she had been active in, and her husband Jeremy Aspen had been co-chair of, the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee, which in 2010–11 had made an unsuccessful attempt to recall mayor Jim Suttle. In April, an Aspen mailing accused Harr of ignoring problems with Nebraska's "good time" law, which allowed convicts to win early release from prison; in 2013, one such convict, Nikko Jenkins, had committed four murders in Omaha. In the May primary, Aspen obtained 2183 votes to Harr's 2076. Both candidates moved on to the general election, in which a proposal to raise Nebraska's minimum wage was also on the ballot. Harr supported the increase; Aspen opposed it. In the general election, Harr prevailed, with 4834 votes to Aspen's 3916.
Harr was elected as the Vice Chairperson of the Business and Labor Committee in 2013. He also serves on the Agriculture and Revenue Committees. Harr is a member of The Tax Modernization Committee, which has been tasked with conducting a comprehensive examination of Nebraska's tax system.
- "Nebraska Blue Book 2010–2011", p. 294. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- "A student of law, Harr turns to lawmaking". Unicameral Update. 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- "New senator profile: Burke Harr." KVNO News. 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- Young, Joanne. "All but 2 incumbent state senators file for re-election". Lincoln Journal Star. 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: Primary Election, May 11, 2010", p. 24. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- Wisch, Robin. "Ideological Battle: Government's role the issue in District 8". The Reader (Omaha). 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: General Election, November 2, 2010", p. 18. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- Hammel, Paul. "More faces jump into 2014 races for Nebraska Legislature". Omaha World-Herald. 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- Hamer, Roger, and Caitlin Roth. "Suttle recall effort officially begins". WOWT. 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- Wynn, Matt. "Good time law an issue in Nebraska Legislative District 8 race". Omaha World-Herald. 201410-27. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: Primary Election, May 13, 2014", p. 34. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: General Election, November 4, 2014", p. 19. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- "Nebraska Unicameral Legislature". Sen. Burke Harr. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
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