BREAKING: Johanns won’t run in 2014!

Mike Johanns 502As the OWH and LJS are reporting, U.S. Senator Mike Johanns will not run for re-election in 2014.
We alluded to this back in December 2012, when we wrote:

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post followed up the story of Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) retiring from the Senate (remember when he was all-in for Don Stenberg?) with a list of Senators who could likely quit or decide not to run in 2014.

There were no Nebraska Senators on that list.

And that’s not to say there should have been. But…for what it’s worth…we have not seen any formal re-election announcement on that front. And we have not heard anything specific. And we are not saying we WILL hear anything specific.

We are just saying… that IF there were an open U.S. Senate seat in 2014, wouldn’t that be interesting? (Well OF COURSE it would be interesting…)

And we don’t know if a certain lame-duck Governor would be interested in something like that or not.

It is just an interesting thing to mull, like a red wine with some sugar and cinnamon and a little orange peel.

So Johanns’s retirement adds some interest, does it not?

Our guesses for who might be in (on the GOP side):

  • Governor Dave Heineman – he’s the 800 lb gorilla if he wants it

If Heineman not in then…

  • Rep. Jeff Fortenberry – we’d have to think THIS is his opportunity to step up
  • AG Jon Bruning – gotta give it a shot, right?
  • Treasurer Don Stenberg – who we mention, only because this may be a real opportunity to do this or Gov — and we sort of think this may mean he has an even better opening for Gov.
  • Rep. Lee Terry – though with his new Chairmanship, we sort of doubt it
  • Pete Ricketts – always a threat if he wants to get in here (or Gov)
  • former Treasurer Shane Osborn – as suggested by an alert reader

Place your bets.


Oh, and btw, the Charlie Janssen for Governor site is up at

Janssen for Gov website 01

The Johanns announcement sort of stepped on that, yeah?


  1. Go West Young Man says:

    I would look at Adrian Smith in the third. He has been unchallenged in the third district and it would help him stay in Washington more often. Not to mention he tours most of the state as it is now.

  2. Thank You, Senator Johanns says:

    I’ll miss Senator Johanns, he has been a great asset for Nebraska.

    Thanks for everything you’ve done Mike!

  3. Kerrey for NYC Mayor says:

    I wonder if Bob Kerrey will move back, again, and try to run for the seat? All eyes are on Heineman and something tells me he saw this coming many months ago…many. It is his seat for the taking now…

  4. Cottonwood Eagle says:

    Perhaps Johanns got the full blast of how negatively Nebraskans reacted to his vote and support for Hagel, and he said to hell with another election.

    Smith should stay in the third….and run for U.S. Senate would be his doom.

  5. No says:

    If Fortenberry runs, you’d think/hope his primary opponent would leak all the horror stories from former staffers. If that man becomes a US Senator the world is doomed.

  6. Bob Loblaw says:

    I don’t know who will run but if Vince Powers and the NDP ever had a chance 2014 is it. No strong frontrunners on the GOP side, two statewide open seats, the national GOP with low approval ratings. If they can’t win now, they never will.

    My money is on them pissing this opportunity down their leg in incredibly humorous fashion. I look forward to the debacle that is the Nebraska Democratic Party.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think Gov. Heineman will take a strong look. If he does, he will clear the competition. If not, it will be an interesting two years.

  8. RWP says:

    My guess is Johanns knew he wasn’t running before he decided to vote for Hagel.

    And we can expect two full years of RINOism from him now he doesn’t have to face the voters.

  9. Brain Trust at Janssen Campaign says:

    The Brain Trust at the Charlie Janssen for Governor campaign forgot to buy Doh! It points to the United Nations website. Some Agenda 21 supporter has a sense of humor…

  10. Heather says:

    How about Warren Buffett’s grandson who is forever being mentioned as a Democratic candidate in Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district?

  11. More brain trust... says:

    No Janssen social media updates during announcement. Surely one of the “veteran” campaigners he has – Jeremy Jensen or Mike Hilgers – should have thought of that.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Go West, Adrian Smith doesn’t do a gaddommed useful thing now. What makes you think he’d do any better in any other political position? He is best at doing his Scott Kleeb impersonation, sitting on a fence pole out in somebody else’s feedlot. Well — that and rubber stamping anything that Club For Growth throws his way.

    Bob Loblaw, you are absolutely right. Vince Powers ran for Chair of the NDP on a promise of “continuity.” The fools decided they wanted to continue the losing ways that the party has manifested for the past two decades. This proves that, if they want to do anything other than continue their Saturday Night Live routines, they’re going to have to get rid of the clowns and find some serious actors.

  13. Ralph H. W. says:

    It’s never seemed to me Heineman’s had much love or interest in DC. If he doesn’t pull the trigger, things get interesting. Would have to think Fortenberry would be in strongest position. Rules Lincoln, close to Omaha, does well in rural areas (in eastern NE). Best taps into Nebraskans’ independent-but-still-conservative bent. If Fort’s in, who runs for Congress?

  14. Interested says:

    Funny how Heineman dropped the tax proposal over the weekend. Hmmm right before Johanns announcement. Beau McCoy and Dave have a huge problem with the voters in rural Nebraska with the sales tax proposal. Damage Control will be out in force if either one of these 2 run next year.

  15. Anon says:

    I predict Stenberg runs, and loses. Whoever wins leaves an office that has to be filled. Stenberg runs for that office and loses.

  16. Anonymostly says:

    I would do everything in my power to keep Chris Beutler from attaining higher office. Ugh. Seeing his name mentioned just ruined my visit to LS. He’s the Lincoln version of Jim Suttle, only slightly smarter — which isn’t a good thing. Just makes him more dangerous. So tired of Democrat mayors. Last thing we need to do is promote them.

  17. Some Thoughts says:

    Anyone care to venture a guess why Johanns is stepping down? He’s still relatively young for a politician. I find it surprising that anyone in decent health would give up being a Senator, especially someone who wanted the job so badly for so long.

  18. ricky says:

    I think the urge is strong for Dave Heineman to return to the private sector and make a lot of money in business …. um no. When was the last time the Gov got a check from somebody other than the state or city government?
    Does Heineman want to be a career politician or maybe he wants to get out in the real world with regular people for a change?


    ps does it really matter if Johanns does not run? Some other Republican will get the state wide seat and go on obstructing anything that might be good about Congress

  19. Interested Observer says:

    I think the atmosphere in politics in general and to a much more concentrated degree in D.C. is just too acrid anymore, specifically since the highly antagonistic encroachment of the tea party being made more toxic and further fueled, fanned and turbo-charged by the super rich following the Koch brother’s Citizen United ruling.

    The caustic smoke from burning all those billions of dollars of polarizing, inflammatory advertising has finally reached such levels that some have had enough. That it’s just not worth it anymore. That the selfless volunteerism, dignity and respect that used to be there are just about all gone.

  20. Cottonwood Eagle says:

    To IO:

    Pot, meet kettle. If there is anyone who has contributed more to polarizing and antagonistic encroachment, it’s you.

  21. Interested Observer says:

    Yes, OBVIOUSLY I’ve done more to contribute to this process than the Koch brothers, Rove, Rush, Soros, Adelson, Bob Perry, Simmons, that one guy who cries all the time, Pelosi, Reed, Obama, McConnell, Boehner, CNN, Fox, et al. Good grief! OBVIOUSLY I’ve personally spent BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars of my own money on this effort! WOW, you found me out, you sure showed me! Thanks for reading.

  22. Lil Mac says:

    If we would measure Tea Party success, we must acknowledge that their loud cries for individual freedom resulted in a reelected Obama and more Democrats in Congress. If their loudness turned off voters, like it seems to bother you, IO, that’s unfortunate. Liberal Democrats are quieter because they control nearly everything in DC, including most of the press. When you own the loudspeaker and the whip you don’t have to yell.

    Freedom isn’t quiet, it’s a cacophony of competing interests.

    But to your point about acrimony in DC and wishing to return to the “selfless volunteerism, dignity and respect that used to be there”, you are kidding, right? Geo. Washington, “first in the hearts of his countrymen”, was burnt in effigy directly outside his presidential window by a screaming hateful mob. We had cabinet members and vice presidents actually shoot each other to death. Then, like today, people were locked in political battle for life and death stakes of power and national survival, a battle no less acrimonious for it being bloodless. Our Constitution only gives us bloodless resolution, nothing even close to a happy utopia. Pushing for utopia is tyranny. And those who push for it are the heart of the DNC. Best of intentions, but wouldn’t know freedom if it came up bit em on the jackass.

    Super rich, were mentioned. Nebraskan Buffett just bought a new Secretary of State for several billions of dollars. Whether you are an honest Conservative Republican who weirdly uses left-speak, or a poseur Liberal Democrat here on a weird mission in blogdom, and aside from your rosy view of a nice history that never existed, surely you must personally worry, as all sane people would, when one super rich bastard actually buys a presidential cabinet.

  23. Interested Observer says:

    But I certainly do commend Causticwood Eagle, Lil Mind and the Grudge King for their insightful, eloquent, thoughtful, “insider” answers to Some Thoughts question, “. . . why Johanns is stepping down”.

  24. To the Idiot above says:

    Evidently you have some fixation that Johanns has Cancer. If the Senator’s case is so dire, why wouldn’t he resign. He has 22 months left on his term!!! Did you ever think after holding full-time offices since 1991 he may actually want to retire? If some of you so called “insiders” actually knew Mike and Steph, you probably would know their priorities in life don’t revolve solely politics.

  25. Anonymostly says:

    Anonymous February 18, 2013 at 10:19 PM
    Anonymostly, you’d better start packing your bags. Kansas is welcoming knee-jerk Republicans.

    Oh yeah. So kneejerk to oppose reckless government spending, higher taxes to pay for it, decline in personal freedom and cronyism in city government. So kneejerk.

    Besides, Vince Powers agrees with me that we’ve had Democrat mayors in power too long in Nebraska’s two largest cities and that it’s time for a change.

  26. Anonymostly says:

    Saw this on another website (except with pictures) and thought it was worth a thought-provoking chuckle. It had photos of Sens Rubio and Menendez with this caption: “Which of these two Hispanic Senators receives bad press coverage?”

    The caption for Menendez says: “Screws underage Dominican hookers.”

    For Rubio, the caption says: “Drinks water.”

  27. Anonymous says:

    To – To the Idiot above February 19, 2013 at 9:01 AM,
    According to Robynn Tysver, a World-Herald staff writer, “Four years ago, Nebraska U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns feared he had lung cancer.”
    So what is your problem? Does reality scare you so much that you can’t face it?

  28. Super dee-doper insider says:

    Word has it that the Governor caught wind of Shane Osborne running for Johanns’ seat and he promptly wet himself.

    Osborne has all the right stuff: name I.D., financial resources, military record (a sterling one at that), winning smile, and he will come out swinging. He’ll defeat any other GOP contender in the primary and promptly bitch slap his Democrat opponent. You heard it hear first! That man will truly be the 1% when it comes Tom the U.S. Senate!

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