State Treasurer Don Stenberg doubts he will enter the Republican primary for governor, says he has crossed out another run for United States Senate, and likely will run for re-election.
Stenberg tells reporters he hasn’t made a decision about his political future, yet.
“I really enjoy being State Treasurer. I think we’re doing a good job here,” Stenberg says. “So, I’m certainly very strongly leaning toward seeking a second term as State Treasurer, but we’ll make a final decision and announcement sometime in the next month or two.”
Stenberg says he has crossed out considering another run for United States Senate. Stenberg has lost three times in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, the latest in 2012 when state Sen. Deb Fischer won the primary and went on to defeat Democrat Bob Kerrey in the general election. Stenberg lost in 2000 general election to Democrat Ben Nelson.
Stenberg has watched with interest the changing list of Republican candidates for Senate and Governor.
“The political scene has been more volatile than I think I’ve ever seen it in my adult lifetime,” Stenberg says, noting that four candidates who announced for governor have since dropped out. “There’s a lot of volatility out there. I don’t know if we’ll see any more volatility or not, but we’ll watch and see what happens here for a few months and take that into account in the final decision as well.”
The Republican primary for governor has become crowded. Three state senators, Charlie Janssen of Fremont, Tom Carlson of Holdrege, and Beau McCoy of Omaha, have entered the race along with State Auditor Mike Foley and Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts. Democrats in the race include former Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs Chuck Hassebrook and state Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton.
Republicans running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Mike Johanns includes former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, Omaha lawyer Bart McLeay, Midland University President Ben Sasse, and Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale. No Democrats have announced plans to run for U.S. Senate.
Stenberg says that with his experience in state government as Treasurer and the former Attorney General, a run for governor would make the most sense, quickly adding that reporters shouldn’t read too much in that.
“Still, I’m strongly leaning toward seeking re-election, but leaving the door open just a little bit.”
AUDIO: Teasurer Don Stenberg discusses his political future with reporters. [3:30]