Sen. Johanns won't seek re-election - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Sen. Johanns won't seek re-election

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By: Bill Schammert
bschammert@klkntv.com

It's the latest shake-up to Nebraska's republican party.  After more than 30 years in public office, Sen. Mike Johanns is announcing he will not seek re-election.

"We always thought to ourselves, that there would be a time, we would know when that time would arrive and that time has arrived," Sen. Johanns said in Papillion on Monday afternoon.

It's hard to imagine Nebraska's political landscape over the last three decades without Mike Johanns.

First elected to the Lancaster County Board in 1983, he became Lincoln mayor in 1991, then a two-term Nebraska governor, before stepping down to become the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in 2005.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008.

"I'll be 64 when I finish the term and that will be 32-years.  That's half my life, and that's enough."

The father of two and grandfather of three says he made up his mind last week.

"Nothing has to do with a big job that's out there, there is no big job out there," he said. "I have no clue what I'm going to do with the rest of my life."

The senator joked that you can cross him off your list of 2014 gubernatorial candidates, but did say he remains confident in Nebraska's GOP.

"There's a lot of good people, so many good people," he said. "I served with them in Washington and with some of them when I was governor."

The senator says he's proud of the work he did in amending President Obama's Affordable Care Act, but wants to spend his final 22 months working to solve the U.S. budget crisis.

"I just hope and pray that we'll have better success in that area. It's dangerous for our country."

The senator didn't endorse anyone who might take his seat, but did say Gov. Heineman would make a good candidate.

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