State Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege makes it official during a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda.
“I have called this press conference to formally announce my candidacy for governor of the state of Nebraska,” Carlson tells reporters and supporters.
Carlson, a Republican, says he made the decision after former Speaker Mike Flood of Norfolk, also a Republican, decided against entering the race. Carlson says he would have supporter Flood’s candidacy.
“But, he and I have kept in close contact and when he called me and he said next week I am going to make a statement that I cannot and I will not run for governor and I told Margot (Carlson’s wife), ‘That’s our sign,’” Carlson says.
Carlson has served two terms in the Unicameral. He currently is chairman of the legislature’s Natural Resources Committee. He has served as chairman of the Agriculture Committee.
Carlson says he has one thing that fellow Republican gubernatorial candidate, state Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, lacks.
“I’ve got more experience,” Carlson says, pausing before adding, “I’ve held leadership roles in the legislature and I think that’s an indication that my colleagues who work with me believe that I can handle the responsibilities, and so they have elected me to these leadership positions.”
AUDIO: Sen. Tom Carlson announces he will run for governor in 2014. [10 min.]