Governor Heineman insists he’s happy with his job, but won’t rule out a run for Senate.
Heineman says he loves being governor.
“I think we’re making great progress. I feel good every day. I wake up, I’m excited, I’m energized, because I want to move Nebraska forward,” Heineman says in an interview with Nebraska Radio Network. “And so, my Dad always said, ‘If you have a good job, don’t give it up.’ And I don’t really want to give it up.”
Yet, Heineman leaves the door open. He says he has 1.8 million people on his board of directors and he will listen to what the residents of Nebraska tell him, acknowledging that some of urged him to get into the Republican primary for United States Senate. Heineman says he’ll listen.
“As I’ve said, it would take a lot to change my mind and I don’t what that would be,” Heineman says.
Heineman says he’s most concerned with making a difference for Nebraska.
“The job where I think can make the greatest difference for the state of Nebraska and I think we’ve proved it the last seven years is to continue to be the governor of this great state,” according to the governor.
Whether Heineman will enter the race has become nearly as popular a political spectator sport as whether former governor and United States Senator Bob Kerrey will return to Nebraska and return to politics. Heineman tells us a Kerrey candidacy will have no effect on his decision. He says the two will make their decisions about entering the race independently.
Incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson has decided to retire from public office and not seek a third term in Washington. His decision left Democrats without a high-profile candidate for perhaps the highest profile Senate race in the nation. It has forced Kerrey to consider moving from New York, where he served as president of the New School between 2001 and 2010, back to his home state to help Democrats hold on to the seat.
Heineman expresses confidence that any of the Republicans in the primary now can win the seat during the general election in November.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]
AUDIO: Brent Martin interviews Gov. Heineman about his future [3 min.]