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The Antelope

The Antelope

Kearney mayor brings community perspective to UNK

Stan Clouse, mayor, hopes to enter the legislature. Photo by Rachel Ostdiek / Antelope Staff

Kearney mayor for the past 18 years, Stan Clouse, spoke with the UNK Student Senate at their weekly meeting on Jan. 30.

Clouse is currently campaigning for a Nebraska Legislature seat and shared his journey in politics with UNK’s future leaders.

“I always felt in any community I’ve ever lived in, that instead of complaining about it, it was up to me to help make it a better community,” Clouse said. “However, I didn’t originally intend to get involved in this capacity.”

His entry into city government fell into his lap 30 years ago during a game of cards with friends, when he was talked into running for the Shelton village board.

“My buddy said, ‘We need some new blood on the village board and we think you ought to run,’” Clouse said. “I didn’t know anything about it, but all it took was 110 votes in Shelton and I was on the board.”

This introduction kickstarted his journey up the ranks, securing connections along the way. 

Clouse has been the mayor of Kearney since 2006, concurrently working at the Nebraska Public Power District for the past 45 years. His recent retirement from NPPD on Jan. 31 marks a hopeful transition towards a more significant legislative role, as he campaigns for a unicameral seat.

“Every time I went to the capitol over the years I’ve thought, ‘Man, this is the coolest thing,’” Clouse said. “I thought that would be the best way to serve my state, make the laws and represent our community.”

Clouse is running for the Legislative District 37 seat, which represents Buffalo County. This seat is previously held by Senator John Lowe, who is unable to run again due to term limits.

“With my retirement I feel like I now have the time to put towards our state and my experience as an elected official should mean a lot,” Clouse said.

After conversations rose earlier this year about getting the mayor to a Student Senate meeting, it was able to happen.

“I called Stan Clouse to come speak to Student Government and share his experience while campaigning for a political office,” said Sam Schroeder, speaker of the senate. “His unique background offered a new perspective for our organization.”

Temo Molina, UNK student body president, asked Clouse about how he has navigated the relationship between the city of Kearney and the UNK population during his time as mayor. 

“I love our students,” Clouse said. “I can tell in the summer that Kearney is just kind of dragging. When the students get here that energy level just turns up and I love that.”

He concluded by addressing UNK directly, encouraging students to keep climbing and always remember their roots in Kearney.

“When you graduate I hope you had a great experience in Kearney, but then you go out and see the world,” Clouse said. “Then when you decide to settle down, remember fondly of Kearney. Your professional experience is valued here, and we want our students to keep building this city.” 

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Rachel Ostdiek
Rachel Ostdiek, Executive Editor
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