With Gov. Heineman out for US Senate, GOP faces wide open 2014

By: Jenn Schanz

As Nebraska's longest serving governor, for some Dave Heineman was an obvious choice to fill Nebraska's U.S. Senate seat.

But the Governor has different plans, and announced he will not take the bid.

He says despite the call to action and support he's received from so many Nebraskans, he feels he's right where he needs to be.

“My passion is just being the Governor of this great state. And we have more work to do, and I'm committed to that,” he says.

The work he's talking about is tax relief, jobs, and education. Those are the issues he's focusing most on during the last leg of his term as Governor.

We asked you what you thought about the Governor's decision not to run.

“Washington needs a man like Heineman. They need somebody that cares for the people,” says Matthew States Sr.

Brian Collins agrees.

“Absolutely, Governor Heineman needs to run for Senate, we need him in there really bad right now.”

Now the GOP faces a wide open 2014.

Republican Party Chairman J.L. Spray says despite the disappointment of not seeing Heineman try to take over the seat being vacated by current Senator, Mike Johanns, the Party is looking forward to the challenge and opportunities that a competitive primary brings.

“There's a history of the Party encouraging candidates to run and having the primary voters sort that out and pick the best candidate going forward. We look forward to that again,” he says.

Spray says he's already spoken to half a dozen people who would be serious candidates for the U.S. Senate seat. One of those, of course, has to be current Congressman and former Lincoln City Council Member, Jeff Fortenberry.

When asked what's next for the Governor once his term ends, he says he'll worry about that in January of 2015.