Long-time Senator Plays Classic April Fools Joke on Lawmakers


Lincoln - Nebraska's longest-serving lawmaker played the classic "I quit!" April Fool's joke on his colleagues when he announced that he was resigning.

Sen. Ernie Chambers played up the prank with a somber demeanor as he walked to the microphone during Tuesday's legislative floor debate. The Omaha senator told his fellow lawmakers that he had decided to step down, and he planned to submit his resignation to the governor and the speaker.

The room fell silent as the 76-year-old spoke, broken by laughter when Chambers grinned and said, "April Fools!".

Chambers said he played the joke to lighten the mood during a heated budget debate and, by the sound of the room, it worked.

Chambers was first elected to the Legislature in 1970 and held office until January 2009, when he briefly was forced out by term limits. He was re-elected to another four-year term in 2012.