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Nelsen Announces Candidacy for County Attorney

HOLDREGE – Deputy County Attorney Natalie Nelsen has announced her candidacy for Phelps County Attorney in the May primary election. Nelsen, a Eustis native, has served as Phelps County’s Deputy County Attorney since 2017.

Natalie Nelsen, Phelps County Attorney Candidate

“I have lived in Phelps County for 14 years,” Nelsen said. “I love this area, and think it’s a great place to raise my family. I want to continue to invest my time and talent here as county attorney, not only prosecuting crimes and ensuring that our community remains safe, but also helping at-risk juveniles and families who may find themselves in difficult situations.”

After graduating from Doane College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law, Nelsen started her career at Dier, Osborn & Cox in Holdrege in 2008 and became a partner in the firm in 2011. She left the firm to start her work as Deputy County Attorney.

Nelsen was the guest speaker at both the 2021 and 2022 CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) banquet and has led trainings for other attorneys. She also frequently speaks to high school classes about risky behaviors, current laws and good decision-making.

“I have always had a heart and a passion for juvenile court, which is one part of the county attorney’s office,” Nelsen said. “In court, I strive to make sure children are safe, cases move forward in a timely manner, and that the best interests of the children remain at the forefront of any case.”

Holdrege Elementary School Principal Amber Porter described Nelsen as a wonderful friend and mother and as a professional who puts youth first. “Some students need the assistance of the court system to move families to get the help they need,” Porter said. “Natalie is an advocate for students. She goes above and beyond to make sure that things are not left undone when it comes to the needs of the children in our county.”

Besides juvenile cases, Nelsen has handled a broad variety of other types of cases in her position as Deputy County Attorney for over the past four and a half years, including traffic citations, misdemeanor and felony criminal cases. She has handled both bench trials and jury trials, co-led a grand jury investigation, and handled numerous coroner calls. She led the coroner’s investigation and served as the County Attorney’s office representative for the press conference and preliminary hearing for a double-homicide case in Phelps County in 2019.

Nelsen said her style of prosecuting takes into account the big picture. “I always try to look at the evidence from every angle, looking at the ‘why’ behind someone’s behavior so that we make sure the punishment fits the crime, or in the juvenile court context, we make sure we’re addressing all the issues that brought someone to the attention of the Court,” she said. “When we focus too much on just ‘what happened,’ sometimes we miss the bigger issues, or we end up with results that don’t really solve the problem.”

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