Twenty-five of Nebraska’s 49 state senate seats are up for election in 2020. Incumbents filed for re-election in 19 of those races. In the remaining six, incumbents are ineligible to run for re-election due to term limits.
Nebraska is one of 15 states where state legislators are subject to term limits, a legal restriction on the number of terms a person may serve in a particular office. In Nebraska, state senators can serve two consecutive four-year terms for a total of eight years. After that, they must wait four years—one full term—before they can run again in that district.
All six state senators prevented from running for re-election were elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. They are:
- District 9: Sara Howard (D)
- District 11: Ernie Chambers (I)
- District 19: Jim Scheer (R)
- District 29: Kate Bolz (D)
- District 31: Rick Kolowski (D)
- District 45: Sue Crawford (D)
This is the second time that Ernie Chambers has been term-limited. Chambers represented District 11 from 1971-2009. He was ineligible to run for re-election in 2008 after serving two four-year terms following the introduction of term limits in 2000. After waiting the requisite four years, he ran in District 11 again in 2012.