By Associated Press - Friday, March 19, 2021

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A former longtime Nebraska state lawmaker died Tuesday at the age of 79.

Dwite Pedersen of Omaha served in the Nebraska Legislature from 1993 to 2009. Pedersen was a leading advocate for alcohol and drug rehabilitation and worked with troubled youth and prison inmates.

Pedersen represented the Elkhorn area of Omaha and ran unsuccessfully for Omaha City Council in 2017. He worked as a counselor focused on youth and was a recovered alcoholic who had been sober for 40 years. He also was known to help prison inmates, including those who rarely got visits from others.

Pedersen died in his sleep. Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, of Omaha, recognized his work and legacy Wednesday on the floor of the Legislature.

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