Laura served as a state senator for Nebraska’s 32nd legislative district, where she has lived most of her life. During her time as a sitting Libertarian Party officeholder, she spearheaded a landmark statewide occupational licensure reform bill that passed with nearly unanimous legislative support and was signed into law.
Raised in Fairbury, Laura graduated from Fairbury High School in 1980. With role models like her parents (her father served as Mayor of Fairbury for a time; her mother on the Fairbury School Board) and grandparents (one of her grandfathers served as Mayor of Fairbury; the other grandfather served on the City Council), she developed a true appreciation of getting involved politically.
During college, Laura married her high school sweetheart, Russ Ebke, and for the last 34 years, the two of them have grown up, seen one another through the good and the mostly-good, and raised a family together.
While Russ attended medical school in Omaha, Laura managed a couple of restaurants and took occasional college courses in an effort to finish her Bachelor’s degree. Russ had a five-year obligation to the U.S. Navy after residency, which took Russ, Laura and then pre-school aged daughter Jennifer first to Memphis (where Russ deployed for a time as part of Operation Desert Shield/Storm), and then to North Carolina. While in Memphis, Laura completed her bachelor’s degree, as well as a M.A. in Political Science.
When the Navy time came to a close in 1995, Russ and Laura were eager to return to this part of Nebraska to raise their family. As a family physician, and with a young family, the opening for a physician in Crete worked out perfectly, keeping the family less than an hour away from grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
In 1999, Tasha joined the family; in 2002, Laura ran for, and was elected to the Crete School Board, which she served on until January 1, 2015; and in 2003, Isaac was born.
In 2005, Laura was awarded her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and has taught part time at several colleges since, although she’s enjoyed being able to spend a significant amount of time being at home as the two younger children grew.
In 2012, Laura and Russ welcomed son-in-law Chris Craven into the family.
In addition to her service on the Crete School Board, Laura has served as a Girl Scout leader/volunteer since 1996 (including several terms as the 1st vice president of the Homestead Council Board, before the Nebraska councils merged); she’s been a volunteer for Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts for 6 years; she is active in her church, including serving three terms in the last 13 years as moderator, and numerous additional terms on the Church Council.