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Sen. Julie Slama of Peru, who was appointed to a seat in the Legislature by Gov. Pete Ricketts earlier this year, announced Wednesday she will seek a four-year term in 2020.

"I'll continue fighting for major property tax relief, fair state funding for our schools and roads, improved rural broadband access and more economic opportunity across the district," Slama said.

Slama, 23, faces a challenge from Janet Palmtag of Syracuse in an unusual legislative contest that has divided Republican heavyweights in the state.

While Slama has the backing of Ricketts and former Gov. Kay Orr, along with Lt. Gov. Mike Foley and the state's other elected constitutional officers, Palmtag has been endorsed by former Gov. Dave Heineman and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry.

Twenty state senators have lined up in support of Slama.

"This year, in the face of (flooding), we showed the world what a special place southeast Nebraska is," Slama said. "Our strength comes from our people, not government, and I want to keep tearing down the roadblocks it poses to prosperity for our families."

Slama, who was appointed to the District 1 seat by Ricketts to succeed Dan Watermeier of Syracuse following his election to the Nebraska Public Service Commission, is enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSDon.

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