Attorney General Jon Bruning is reconsidering a run for governor.
Bruning, a Republican, had stated he would not look to run for another office, but would run for re-election. He says circumstances have caused him to change his mind.
“It’s been an interesting 18 months for me, a humbling 18 months. I lost an election and then of course the colon cancer scare I went through. You talk about humbling, it will make you realize you’ve got a limited amount of time on this earth and you want to do the most good you can while you’re here,” Bruning tells Nebraska Radio Network. “So, I’ve been getting text messages and calls and talking to my friends in person. And people are saying you’ve got to think about it. So, I’m thinking about it.”
Bruning says he will make a decision in the next couple of weeks.
There is a hard deadline for his deliberations. The final day to file for office is February 18th. Papers must be filed with the Secretary of State’s office by 5pm that day, an extended deadline from the normal date of February 15th, because that falls on a Saturday and the following Monday is a state holiday.
Risk factors prompted doctors to urge Bruning to have a colonoscopy last year, which revealed he had colon cancer. Surgeons cut out eight inches of the colon and removed lymph nodes. Bruning spent a couple of days recovering at St. Elizabeth Regional Health Center in Lincoln.
Bruning says the cancer scare caused him to re-evaluate a lot of things.
“And it take some of the fear out of life, too. I mean once you’ve thought about, ‘Am I going to die?’ you think, well, it doesn’t scare you as much the other things that happen,” Bruning says. “You start thinking about what’s important, which is family and friends, the state. I love this state. I was born here. I’m going to die here. So, you’ve got to analyze what do you want to do with your life, because your time might be limited.”
Bruning has been Nebraska Attorney General since 2002. He lost in the Republican primary for United States Senate in 2012 to Deb Fischer, who won the general election.
“Losing’s not a lot of fun, but you learn a lot when you lose. Maybe you learn more from losing than you do from winning. I don’t know. I learned a lot. And I still love this state. And we came out of that loss and just went right back to work and started doing the best we could for the people,” Bruning says.
Six Republicans have announced their candidacy to succeed fellow Republican, Gov. Dave Heineman, who must leave the office due to term limits. State Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, state Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege, state Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, Omaha business executive Pete Ricketts, state Auditor Mike Foley and Omaha tax attorney Bryan Slone have been campaigning. Democrat Chuck Hassebrook is also in the race.
AUDIO: Attorney General Jon Bruning says he will consider a run for governor. [:30]