A state senator who got into the governor’s race a year ago has dropped out.
State Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont has dropped out of the race for governor after spending a year on the campaign trail.
“What’s changed is, a year ago I could see a path to victory, because there was a lot of unknowns out there in front of you,” Janssen tells reporters at the Capitol. “Right now, there’s more known and I don’t see that clear path right now.”
Janssen fulfilled one campaign promise before formally announcing his decision in an email to supporters. Janssen spent the weekend in Ogallala at a Ducks Unlimited event. He says he made the decision this weekend after talking with his wife and supporters.
With the decision, the Republican field narrows to five.
Janssen isn’t ready to endorse any of his former opponents, yet.
“I would find it very likely that, eventually, I would endorse a candidate that is most closely aligned to my views.”
Janssen gives no indication who that might be. He says no one pressured him into dropping out of the race and says it was a coincidence that his announcement came on the heels of Attorney General Jon Bruning’s announcement that he is reconsidering jumping into the race. Janssen calls Bruning a friend, but says the two haven’t talked about the governor’s race.
Republican Gov. Dave Heineman must leave office due to term limits.
Republicans in the race are 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. Democrat Chuck Hassebrook is also in the race.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]