Ernie Chambers

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Ernie Chambers
Ernie Chambers.jpg
Nebraska State Senate, District 11
In office
1971 - 2009, January 9, 2013 - present
Term ends
January 4, 2017
Years in position (current service)2
Years in position (previous service)38
Executive Board Member
Base salary$12,000/year
Per diem$129/day for those living 50+ miles from capitol, otherwise $46/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limits2 terms (8 years)
High schoolOmaha Central High School
Date of birthJuly 10, 1937
Office website
Ernie Chambers (b. July 10, 1937) is a member of the Nebraska Unicameral, representing District 11. He was first elected to the chamber in 2012. He currently serves on the Executive Board.

Chambers served in the Unicameral previously, representing District 11 from 1971 to 2009.

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Chambers served on the following committees:

Nebraska Committee Assignments, 2015
Business and Labor


In the 2013-2014 legislative session, Chambers served on the following committees:


Arena board records

In January 2014, Chambers stated he would either support legislation or is inclined to vote for legislation to open the records of the Metropolitan and Convention Authority (MECA), an Omaha arena board that runs several convention centers, including a ballpark and civil auditorium. For a decade, MECA has not had to comply with Nebraska public records law. Chambers is one of 11 Omaha-area legislators who supports such legislation.[1]

Death penalty bills

In January 2013, Chambers, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, introduced Legislative Bill 542, which would strike from the law one of nine aggravating circumstances used to determine whether a convicted murderer is to be executed. He told the Judiciary Committee the following month that the circumstance that "[t]he murder was especially heinous, atrocious, cruel, or manifested exceptional depravity by ordinary standards of morality and intelligence" was vague and therefore unconstitutional on both the state and federal levels. Speaking for the Nebraska County Attorneys Association, attorney Joe Kelly countered that jurors are given instructions on how to determine heinousness.[2]

Chambers also introduced Legislative Bill 543 in January, calling for the outright abolishment of the death penalty in the state. This revived a tradition from his previous tenure in the Legislature in which he would submit a similar bill each year. The bill received a Judiciary Committee hearing on March 14, 2013.[3]



See also: Nebraska State Senate elections, 2012

Chambers won election in the 2012 election for Nebraska State Senate District 11. Chamber ran unopposed in the May 15 primary election and defeated incumbent Brenda Council in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[4][5]

Nebraska State Senate, District 11, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngErnie Chambers 66.9% 6,734
     Nonpartisan Brenda Council Incumbent 33.1% 3,326
Total Votes 10,060

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Chambers is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Chambers raised a total of $0 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 22, 2013.[6]

Ernie Chambers's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Nebraska State Senate, District 11 Won $0
2004 Nebraska State Senate, District 11 Won $0
2000 Nebraska State Senate, District 11 Won $0
Grand Total Raised $0


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Nebraska

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Nebraska scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature was in its 103rd Legislature, 1st Session from January 9 to June 5. In 2014, the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature was in its 103rd Legislature, 2nd Session from January 8 to April 17.[7]

  • Senators are scored on children's issues.
  • Senators are scored based on votes on selected business votes throughout his/her career in the Legislature.
  • Senators are scored based on votes on selected business votes throughout his/her career in the Legislature.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key small business issues.


Federal complaint against Council

In October 2012, Chambers filed a federal complaint against then-Senator Brenda Council, alleging that she violated federal law in using campaign funds for gambling, as well as in filing false campaign reports. Council had already pleaded guilty to two related state misdemeanor charges; she was fined $500 with court costs. Chambers called Council "an embarrassment to the community," and said, "I can say truthfully I am not a crook." Council responded by saying the matter had been settled, and that discussion of issues in the senate race between them was being neglected.[8]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Brenda Council
Nebraska State Senate District 11
Succeeded by
Preceded by
George W. Althouse
Nebraska State Senate District 11
Succeeded by
Brenda Council