Paul and Maureen Theobald own a Pierce County farm where they raise chickens, goats and Heritage hogs. Paul has decided to run for congress against incumbent Adrian Smith.

Former Wayne resident entering race for Congress

Contributed by Laura Anderson

In a primarily Republican state, a Democrat is throwing his hat into the ring.

Paul Theobald, a former Wayne resident, has decided the time is right to pursue a political career by running for Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional district against Republican incumbent Adrian Smith in the 2018 election.

Theobald’s campaign is focused on helping farmers, stopping rural school consolidation, raising minimum wage, stopping the Keystone XL pipeline from being built, health care reform and “living our legacy.”

Another one of Theobald’s issues and passion is to rejuvenating rural America.

“I’ve been watching rural communities decline, decade after decade. People always just kind of shrug their shoulders and say, ‘That’s the price of progress,’ but it’s not the price of progress. It’s the price of certain decisions that have been made. I want to go to Congress and help my colleagues in Congress make better decisions and reinvigorate these rural communities,” Theobald said.

The son of a mail carrier and a grandson of a farmer, Theobald calls himself “a descendant of rural people,” and has made his way back to his roots.

Theobald and his wife, Maureen, own a three-storey Victorian home in Pierce County with plenty of land and animals to tend to. They raise chickens, goats and purebred Heritage hogs in pastures surrounding their home and fulfilling Paul’s passion for farming.

Though they currently live a bucolic lifestyle, the Theobalds weren’t always farming.

Paul attended the University of Illinois-Champaign to become a high school English and social studies teacher. He went back to school to get his masters and PhD while becoming an educator to future educators.

His career path led him to Nebraska to the Dean of the School of Education and Counseling position at Wayne State College in 1996 until 2004. He was one of the founding deans under President Sheila Stearns.

The Theobalds both raised their children Brianna, Renee, Alayna and Nathan and Carly Wacker  in Wayne and they all attended Wayne Community Schools.

Theobald was offered a job at Buffalo State College in New York in 2004 as the Wood-Beals Endowed Chair in Urban and Rural Education which was too good to pass on. They traveled to New York where they lived for several years before returning to Nebraska is the late 2000s.

Paul is currently a visiting professor of educational innovation at the University of Southern Indiana and Maureen is a paraprofessional at Pierce Community Schools.

Though they both enjoy their careers, it hasn’t dulled their passions for rural history and literature.

Paul and Maureen have a vast library consisting of rural literature, including Nebraska authors such as Mari Sandoz and Willa Cather.

“I’ve been very committed to the preservation and promotion of rural literature,” Paul said.

Paul and Maureen also spend their time gardening and advocating for the environment.

For more information on Paul’s campaign, visit

The Wayne Herald

Mailing Address:
114 Main Street
Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600

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