The family affair tradition lives on in the Nebraska legislature

It’s another first for the nation’s only nonpartisan, onehouse legislature. The first brother-sister act is coming to the Nebraska Legislature in January.

John Cavanaugh will be sworn in to represent Omaha’s District 9. He’ll serve with his sister Machaela who was elected in 2018 to represent District 6. They’re the children of John Cavanaugh who served one term in the Legislature after his 1972 election. He then served as a U.S. Representative from 1976 to 1980. With Machaela’s election, the Cavanaugh’s became the first father-daughter to serve. Now it’s fatherdaughter and father-son.

The family affairs started in 1937 when the late Charles Warner of Waverly was elected to the very first Unicameral where he served as the first Speaker of the Legislature. He had served in the Nebraska House from 1901 to 1907 and had served in the Nebraska Senate from 1919 to 1936. He also served four terms as lieutenant governor.


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