Former Legislative Speaker Mike Flood has ruled out a run for governor to concentrate on helping his wife battle breast cancer.
Mandi Flood appears to have successfully come through treatment and surgery, which sparked rumors that Flood might re-enter the gubernatorial race. Flood put the rumors to rest today, telling the Norfolk Daily News he will not be a candidate for governor in 2014.
“We have every reason to be optimistic,” Flood said in an interview with the Daily News. “But a gubernatorial campaign is an everyday thing. I didn’t want to be 300 miles away if we received some discouraging news.”
Gov. Dave Heineman spoke to Flood about his decision to stay out of the race.
“The most important and the best news in all of this is Mandi Flood has had a great recovery,” Heineman told reporters during a news conference at his Capitol office. “She looks in great health. She is doing much better, but she still has a number of radiation treatments to undergo.”
Both Heineman and Flood are Republicans.
Flood had announced a run for governor in early November, but withdrew about a month later after Mandi Flood was diagnosed with breast cancer. Flood, a state senator from Norfolk, served as Speaker of the Legislature from 2007 to 2012. He is an attorney and owns a radio station in Norfolk.
Heineman said Flood made the right decision for the right reason.
“He put his wife and his family first. There are just too many unknowns and uncertainties yet in their situation and he decided that it would be best to make it very clear he will not be a governor this time.”
Susan Risinger, WJAG, contributed to this report.
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman comments on former Speaker Mike Flood’s decision not to re-enter the governor’s race. [1:15]