Multiple sources say former Nebraska governor Dave Heineman is seriously considering running for the job again next year when 2-term incumbent Pete Ricketts is term-limited.
Heinemam is Nebraska’s longest-serving governor, moving up from lieutenant governor in 2005 when Mike Johanns resigned to become secretary of agriculture. He finished up the last 2 years of that term and served 2 full terms of his own.
Speculation increased this past week with Heinemann’s resignation from the Conklin Company board of directors. Conklin is owned by Charles Herbster, one of the 2 most-active early Republican candidates for governor.
Conklin was an ag advisor to Donald Trump in both his president campaigns and was joined by top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway on a statewide campaign trip in April that included a stop in Chadron.
Also aggressively campaigning and gathering endorsements is University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen, who has the public backing of Tom Osborne and former Gov Kay Orr and the apparent tacit support of Gov Ricketts.
In a Friday telephone interview with the Lincoln Journal-Star, Heineman said he was “in no rush” to make a decision on a gubernatorial bid, describing himself as “very much in the listening mode” as he continues to evaluate the situation.
Heineman said he had “a serious decision to make” and probably wouldn’t make it until this fall – possibly late in the fall.