More than 50 people turned out Wednesday evening at the Chocolate Bar in Grand Island’s Railside District for Sen. Dan Quick’s official 2020 re-election campaign kickoff.
Last month, Quick announced that he was seeking a second term to represent the 35th Legislative District in the unicameral.
While Quick talked to the crowd of supporters about his re-election campaign, he also addressed the flooding currently taking place along the Platte and Wood rivers. Communities like Gibbon, Wood River and Alda that were impacted by the massive flooding that took place in March are again threatened by flooding caused by intense rains that dumped 6 inches on Monday.
Quick’s 35th Legislative District includes Grand Island. While Grand Island did not feel the impact of the March flooding — and will again miss out from this current round of flooding, according to the National Weather Service — Quick said building the state’s defenses against natural disasters is an issue he is concerned about.
The Natural Resources legislative committee is among several Quick has served on during his three years as state senator. The other committees include Banking, Commerce and Insurance, General Affairs, and Urban Affairs.
Quick said during the last session, tax relief legislation was passed to help land and property owners impacted by flooding.
Quick said one of the reasons Grand Island has been spared from the flooding problems is because of flood control projects built by the Central Platte Natural Resource District.
He said Nebraska’s unique system of natural resource districts has helped communities such as Grand Island when it comes to protection against natural disasters like flooding.
Quick said he believes NRDs can play an even more significant role in protecting Nebraska from the ravages of natural disasters, especially if events, such as the flooding, become more frequent and severe in nature due to a changing climate.
State senators are limited to two four-year terms. Quick said for any senator serving their first term, there is a quick learning curve to navigate the ins and outs of the Legislature.
After three sessions in Lincoln, Quick is more at ease on how the system runs, but he admits four years is not enough to accomplish the goals he set to assist his constituents.
“I would like to be in there another four years to work on some of the bills that I would like to see happen,” Quick said.
As a lawmaker, Quick has worked on child welfare issues, such as early childhood education and protecting kids from abuse. He said that will remain an area of focus for him if he is re-elected, along with issues involving working families.
Before being elected, Quick worked at the City of Grand Island’s power plant for 26 years, where he started as a material handler and later a maintenance mechanic and welder. He retired from this position after being elected. Quick also served as president and business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1597 and as president of the Nebraska State Utility Workers Conference.
Quick and his wife, Alice, a registered nurse, have lived in Grand Island for 39 years. Together, they have three children and eight grandchildren. They are both active members of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church where he serves as a Eucharistic minister, and Alice serves as a Lector.
Another area that has taken a lot of Quick’s time as a lawmaker is constituent service, which he said is one of the more essential aspects of his job. He said he and staff direct many of his constituents’ concerns to the appropriate government offices, or they personally look into their concerns if they run into bureaucratic brick walls.
Quick said talking with his constituents gives him the direction he needs to get the job done, whether it’s the businessman or the working man. He said it also gives people a chance to tell him what they would like to see the legislature accomplish.
“I am already knocking on doors for 2020, and people are surprised to see me,” Quick said.