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Heineman won’t run for governor of Nebraska, will focus on family

Decision 2022: Former governor not running again
Decision 2022: Former governor not running again
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 7:58 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2021 at 12:05 PM CST
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Neb. (WOWT) - Former Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman revealed Tuesday morning on Facebook that he nearly said yes to running for office again — but that his family became his priority, and he will not run.

Heineman became governor in January 2005 when Gov. Mike Johanns became the U.S. Agriculture Secretary. He was elected to his first full term in November 2006 and left office in January 2015.

The Republican said in the post that he loved being governor and that as he listened to Nebraskans in recent months, he appreciated strong support and encouragement.

He also talked about his family: his mother, who is 98 years old and doing well in assisted living; and that he and his wife have two grandchildren, who live only a few minutes away.

Former Gov. Dave Heineman and his family.
Former Gov. Dave Heineman and his family.({beckynovacekphotography} | {beckynovacekphotography})

“I’m at a stage in life now my family’s more important than ever,” Heineman said. “Particularly the ability to work with and be with our two grandchildren and they live four minutes away

Heineman, who turned 73 years old this year, said he intends to remain politically active and support candidates who can be future leaders in the state.

“I want to encourage the current candidates for governor to speak to the issues that Nebraskans shared with me — tax relief, education, and broadband. They want more property tax relief, but Nebraskans also know that our 1967 tax code needs to be restructured to reflect the modern economy of the 21st Century. Nebraska needs a new tax code that promotes economic growth and creates higher-paying careers.”

However, the political climate remains hot.

“Then add to that who the other candidates are mixed with, that environment, it would be a very different race than the last race he ran,” said Dr. Richard Witmer, a Political Science professor at Creighton University.

But Heineman would have been a familiar face in an already crowded race that includes half a dozen GOP candidates and one Democrat. Dr. Witmer believes that Heineman would’ve been a frontrunner the minute he stepped into the race.

“There’s something about that familiarity he would bring to the office that would help with a little bit different leadership style and political style than everybody’s seeing now,” Dr. Witmer said.

“I have a lot of friends on both sides of the aisle,” Heineman said. “Remember — we’re Americans first, then Nebraskans, then you can choose your political party but I really appreciate the support.”

The former Nebraska gov. said, right now, he doesn’t plan to endorse any candidate.

During his time in office, Heineman further pushed for improvement in broadband services, especially in rural Nebraska.

Lastly in his post, he offered congratulations to the Husker volleyball team for reaching the Final Four this week and wished them luck in Columbus, Ohio.

I want you to be among the first to know my decision about the governor's race. I loved being Governor of our Great...

Posted by Gov. Dave Heineman on Tuesday, December 14, 2021

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