2014 U.S. Senate race already generating buzz - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

2014 U.S. Senate race already generating buzz

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The Republican primary to replace U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns in Nebraska could unfold as an open-and-shut contest or a wide-open race, depending on what Gov. Dave Heineman decides.

GOP officials and strategists say Heineman would enter the 2014 election as a heavy favorite if he chooses to run for the seat. Conversely, party officials say a decision by Heineman not to run would unleash a flurry of candidates with no immediate frontrunner.

Johanns announced Monday that he would not seek re-election in 2014. Heineman has said he is considering a run for the seat, but he has not decided one way or the other.

Heineman, the state's longest-serving governor, has enjoyed consistent approval ratings above 60 percent in polls. He was twice elected governor with more than 70 percent support.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Democrat Bob Kerrey says he has no plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat Mike Johanns will vacate in 2015, and that's extremely unlikely to change.

Kerrey said Tuesday he intends to remain a private citizen after losing to Republican Deb Fischer in last year's U.S. Senate race. Johanns announced Monday that he won't run for re-election, so he can spend more time with family.

Kerrey praised Johanns' service to the state, and he says he understands why Johanns decided not to run again.

Kerrey is a former Nebraska governor, and he represented the state in the U.S. Senate for two terms.

Kerrey says it's nearly impossible that he will run for the Johanns' Senate seat in 2014.

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