A second former University of Nebraska student regent is seeking a voting membership on the university's governing board.

Ryan Wilkins, who represented the flagship campus's students on the board during the 2002-03 school year, announced his candidacy Monday for the NU Board of Regents District 8 seat, representing most of Douglas County.

The Union Pacific attorney is also a former student-athlete, a member of the UNL Innocents Society and the Farmhouse fraternity and graduated from the College of Business in 2004.

Wilkins, 35, will run against incumbent Regent Hal Daub, a former U.S. congressman and Omaha mayor who first won election to the university board in 2012, and challenger Barbara Weitz, a former UNO instructor and philanthropist who has a building named for her on the Omaha campus.

"Today's average regent is nearly 70 years old," Wilkins said in a statement. "That life experience is rich and valuable, but younger perspectives are important for the board to meaningfully lead on issues affecting the next generation of families and students entering NU's system."

Wilkins and his wife, Jenny, have two young daughters.

Three candidates  are running for the District 4 regents seat being vacated by Regent Bob Whitehouse at the end of this year.

Elizabeth O'Connor, a former student regent who represented UNO from 2011-12, will seek the seat representing portions of downtown and south Omaha, as well as Sarpy County.

"It was a true honor to represent Omaha students as a student regent, where I was an advocate for the university to be funded fairly, to spend prudently, and to invest wisely in our future," O'Connor said in a statement. "I'd like to continue that work as a regent."

Larry Bradley, an adjunct professor at UNO and member of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District board, is making his third run at the Board of Regents after unsuccessful attempts in 2006 and 2012.

"There's a lot of issues that persist," Bradley said in a short interview Monday. Bradley described himself as pro-academic freedom and pro-science and said he is running to protect "civil rights, human rights, students' rights, workers' rights" at the university.

Anne Herman is also seeking election to the District 4 seat, according to the secretary of state, but she could not be reached Monday.

Two candidates in each race will advance from the May 15 primary election to the Nov. 6 general election.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS.

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