Sen. Ben Nelson has stated he will announce whether he will run for re-election by the end of the month, but says whether Gov. Dave Heineman enters the race has no bearing on that decision.
Nelson, during a conference call with reporters today, rejected any suggestion that a decision by Governor Heineman to enter the United States Senate race would influence his re-election plans.
“Absolutely not, absolutely not,” Nelson responded. “I’m surprised the governor would even kowtow to the wishes of Mitch McConnell.”
McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, is the United States Senate minority leader. A blog posted by the New York Times reported that McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, have been urging Heineman to consider jumping into the Senate race.
“I told them ‘no’ up until now,” Mr. Heineman told the Times. “They keep calling, I keep listening.”
Heineman remained non-committal during a news conference with reporters at the Capitol this week, neither stating he would enter the race nor ruling a Senate run out.
Heineman, a Republican, is in his second full term as governor. Nelson, a Democrat, is completing his second term in the United States Senate. He has yet to officially announce he is running for a third term in 2012, but has raised money and run advertisements.
Nelson took a shot at the governor in stating his announcement is forthcoming.
“But I’ll be making my decision soon and let me assure you, Dave’s partisan showboating has no bearing on my decision,” according to Nelson. “So, until I decide to be a candidate, I don’t have to and I’m not going to play politics with the governor.”