Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns Will Not Run For Re-Election

After only one term in office, Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns will announce later today that he will not seek re-election in 2014:

Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns is set to retire.

He will leave the Senate after his term ends in 2014.

Johanns, who is heading back to Nebraska this morning, began to make telephone calls to key supporters, letting them know of his decision, several sources said.

The former Nebraska governor and Lincoln mayor was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008.

Johanns confirmed the rumors in an email blast this morning, in which he said he wanted a “quieter time” to focus on his family and his faith.

“During these many years, we have cherished our time together. So as we think about the next stage of our lives, we want a quieter time with our focus on each other, our family and our faith. We are also confident that there will be many more opportunities to serve our state and our nation,” said Johanns in a prepared statement.

Given that this is only Johanns’ first term, this is somewhat of a surprise. In any case, it means another open seat in Nebraska in 2014. Given the political makeup of the state at this point, I’d say it’s a likely Republican hold at this point.

H/T: Taegan Goddard

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2014, Congress, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CSK says:

    Two possibilities:

    Johann supports Hagel, he was part of the Gang of Eight, and has come out for compromise with the Democrats in several other instances. So he may be doing what Snowe did, and simply be leaving because he can’t work with some of the other Republicans. Whether you think that’s good or bad depends on your political orientation; I simply state it as speculation.

    He’s ill, but it’s not life-threatening, or at least not immediately so. He has been chairman of the Parkinson’s Disease Caucus. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but you can live pretty well with low-level Parkinson’s if you avoid stress.

    I doubt there’s a major scandal brewing; he’d resign immediately if that were the case.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    I’m guessing that Johanns found working with his fellow Republican senators to be less than rewarding – like having having your left kidney removed when it was the right one that had to be removed. I wish Mike well.

  3. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @CSK: Thanks for the info. I was thinking that “[I] wanted a “quieter time” to focus on [my] family and [my] faith” was code for “I got the Senate pension now, that’s all I came for.”

    Maybe I should be less cynical…nah!

  4. Andre Kenji says:

    I might be cynical and wrong(I hope that I am) but a former Secretary of Agriculture, a former governor and a former Senator is gold for any lobbyist office.

  5. bernieyeball says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Thanks for the info. I was thinking that “[I] wanted a “quieter time” to focus on [my] family and [my] faith” was code for “I got the Senate pension now, that’s all I came for.”

    Just think. If we had Term Limits mandated by the Constitution “I got the Federal pension now, that’s all I came for.” would be the Lame Duck Ditty all US Congress Critters could sing in their final term.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    I suspect, having lived in Nebraska and having met Mike Johanns, that it’s simply a combination of health issues and being tired of Teh Crazy. Nebraska’s pretty laid back. Conservative, but reasonable conservative.