Heineman won’t run for Senate

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November 4th, 2010

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Gov. Heineman announced he will not run for Senate in 2012 (Photo courtesy Nebraska Legislature)

Lincoln, NE – There had been intense speculation that Heineman, a Republican, would run for the Senate against Democrat Ben Nelson, perceived to be vulnerable because of his support for the unpopular health care bill. And in the midst of his just completed reelection campaign, Heineman had not ruled the possibility out. Thursday, he did.

“I love being Governor of the State of Nebraska. I have the best job in America; I want to keep doing it for the next four years and I do not intend to run for the United States Senate.”

Even after his reelection on Tuesday, Heineman had said while it was very unlikely, running midway through his term was something he would consider, because people were asking him. Asked what made up his mind, the governor described his decision like this:

“Its’ been crystallizing for a number of months,” he said. “I think I’ve been fairly straightforward in my comments, that I was going to take a look at it, I’d carefully consider it, but that it was highly unlikely. I finalized that decision over the last 24 to 36 hours talking with my family, and now that I’ve finalized it and I was always heading in that direction, there’s no reason not to announce it.”

Heineman said he wasn’t concerned that he would be perceived as a lame duck or people might find it unseemly that he would start running for another office so soon after winning reelection. And he was noncommittal when asked if he was endorsing anyone else.

“I haven’t even thought about that,” he said. “I think we’re going to have a spirited, competitive primary, I think that’ll be good, and ultimately that person will win the United States Senate seat.”

Nelson could not immediately be reached for comment.

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