(Johanns) Republican Senator From Nebraska Won’t Run in 2014
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Senator Mike Johanns, a Republican from Nebraska who is in his first term, announced Monday that he will not seek re-election next year, the fifth lawmaker to bow out of a Senate that has become increasingly polarized and dysfunctional.
Mr. Johanns, a soft-spoken former Nebraska governor and secretary of agriculture in the George W. Bush administration, appeared well positioned to be re-elected and was not on any Democratic target list. But last year, he angrily criticized conservative groups that tried to step in and influence the Senate election in his state. And his efforts as part of the “Gang of Eight” to broker a bipartisan deficit reduction accord proved fruitless.
“With everything in life, there is a time and a season. At the end of this term, we will have been in public service over 32 years,” Mr. Johanns wrote in a letter to his constituents with his wife, Stephanie. “Between the two of us, we have been on the ballot for primary and general elections 16 times and we have served in eight offices. It is time to close this chapter of our lives.”
With the announcement, Republican attention immediately turned to Nebraska’s two-term Republican governor, Dave Heineman, as a potential candidate. He cannot run for re-election in 2014 because of term limits. If Mr. Heineman decides to run for the Senate, he could face a primary challenge, though the seat seems likely to remain Republican.