Gov. Dave Heineman chooses a man with a wealth of experience as a state lawmaker to be the next Lt. Governor.
Heineman announced his selection during a news conference at the state Capitol.
“I am very pleased to announce that Nebraska’s next Lt. Governor will be Lavon Heidemann of Elk Creek,” Heineman said.
Heidemann is a familiar face at the state Capitol, a former legislator who wielded considerable influence as chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Term limits forced him to leave the Unicameral last year. He ran successfully for a spot on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents in 2012. He has resigned the post to serve as Lt. Governor.
“The governor said, he talked about it being an honor, and I really take that to heart. This is going to be an honor and a privilege for me to be your next Lt. Governor,” Heidemann stated during the news conference.
Heidemann, 54, becomes the 39th Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska. He replaces Rick Sheehy, who resigned abruptly nearly two weeks ago. Sheehy served as Heineman’s second in command for eight years and had announced plans to run for governor. The Omaha World-Herald reported that Sheehy made more than 2,300 calls to four women other than his wife the past four years on a state-issued cell phone. One woman confided that she had had an affair with Sheehy.
Heidemann declined to immediately comment on how he might aid the governor in guiding a tax proposal through the legislature. He requested more time in the position before responding when asked by a reporter.
The governor has proposed eliminating the state income tax in exchange for a reduction in the number of sales tax exemptions the state grants. The proposal has sparked heated opposition from those who benefit from the sales tax breaks.
Heidemann is a farmer and livestock producer. He served as the State Senator for Legislative District 1 from 2005 to 2013.
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman announces former state Sen. Lavon Heidemann will be the new Lt. Governor. [5:30]