State Auditor Mike Foley has much to consider as he weighs his political future.
Much opportunity has opened for statewide officeholders now that Sen. Mike Johanns has decided against running for a second term. The Johanns’ decision doesn’t just affect the race for United States Senate. It opens up a number of possibilities for Foley.
“There really are four options on the table,” Foley tells Nebraska Radio Network. “One would be the Senate, one might be the House, one might be governor or one might be serving as a state Auditor for a third term. I’m fortunate in that the position I hold right now does not have term limits. So, I could go back to the voters and ask for a third term as state Auditor. So, all those options are being discussed and prayed about and thought about. My family and I will sort that all out sometime, oh probably over the next month or so.”
Foley says the announcement by Johanns didn’t catch him totally off guard.
“There had always been some speculation that Sen. Mike Johanns might not run for a second term, but I had always discounted that speculation. I think Mike Johanns had just done a fabulous job as a U.S. Senator. He seemed to love the work. He was very effective in that position,” Foley says.
A run for re-election is always an option for Foley. Foley served six years as a state senator from Lincoln in the Unicameral before winning election as state Auditor in 2006. He won re-election in 2010 and could run again next year.
Or, Foley could choose any of the other options.
His decision will be influenced greatly by the decision of fellow Republicans.
The race for governor in 2014 will be wide open. Gov. Dave Heineman has to leave due to term limits. It appears Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy, an early front-runner in the race, has little chance after resigning the position when his indiscretion with a state-owned cell phone became public. Former Speaker of the Legislature, Mike Flood of Norfolk, had a promising start, but left the race after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. State Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont recently announced his candidacy for governor.
Foley say what Gov. Heineman decides to do will have major ramifications for all Republicans.
“I think it does. I think it does. Governor Heineman is a very, very popular governor. The decision he makes is going to have a ripple effect, for sure, throughout the whole political structure of the state.”
A Heineman decision to run for Senate nearly rules out that option for any other Republican. Yet, another decision looms large for Foley. If First District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry decides to run for governor, Foley could run for Congress.
AUDIO: State Auditor Mike Foley discusses his political options. [1 min.]