Sen. Laura Ebke
Laura Ebke of Nebraska is one of several elected state legislators around the county who, since 2016, have taken the bold step of switching parties to join the Libertarian Party (LP) while in elective office.
Elected in 2014 to the officially nonpartisan, unicameral Nebraska legislature, Sen. Ebke soon established herself as a “different kind of Republican” — one who aims to shrink big government and advance individual freedom — earning her the disdain of the Republican governor. Since switching her registration to the LP in June 2016 — making her the country’s highest-ranking Libertarian elected official — she has co-sponsored and passed legislation which inhibits civil asset forfeiture, and she was the primary introducer of bills giving Libertarians in Nebraska permanent ballot access, as well an occupational licensing reform bill that is seen as a model, nationwide.
She also serves as chair of the legislature’s judiciary committee, where she has worked on prison reform issues, partnering with law enforcement to increase public safety.
In her bid for re-election this year, Sen. Ebke waged a successful primary battle, surpassing a Republican rival favored by the governor. Placing second ahead of his third, Ebke will appear on the ballot in the November 6 run-off election.
Sen. Ebke’s lifelong path to the Libertarian Party began in a family of libertarian-leaning Republicans whose bookshelves were graced with the works of Mises, Hayek, and Friedman, and who talked around the dinner table about the burdens of government regulations and taxation.
An early political activist, Sen. Ebke moved into the academic arena of politics while in college, eventually earning both master’s and doctorate degrees in political science. She and her husband settled in a community near where they grew up, and while in grad school, she ran for the local school board, where she served for 12 years.
In 2007, Sen. Ebke got involved in the Ron Paul for President effort in Nebraska, helping to lead an upstart groups of Republicans to winning several delegates seats at the GOP national convention. She co-organized the Nebraska Campaign for Liberty and the Republican Liberty Caucus of Nebraska, before leaving the leadership of both in 2013, to run for and win her seat in the Nebraska state legislature.
Sen. Ebke is a native Nebraskan who grew up in the legislative district that she serves. A mother of three and grandmother of one, she has been married for 37 years to her high school sweetheart, Russ Ebke.
Sen. Ebke’s campaign website: LauraEbke.com