October 10th, 2007
05:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Ex-Ag Secretary Johanns declares Senate bid

Johanns has set his sights on Sen. Hagel's Senate seat.

(CNN) - Former Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns officially announced his expected candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska that Republican maverick Chuck Hagel is giving up in 2008.

"It's time to restore the people's trust in a government that, in my judgment, has strayed too far from conservative values - in principles that we hold dear," said Johanns, who resigned his Cabinet post in September.

Before joining the Bush administration in 2005, Johanns served as Nebraska's governor and as mayor of Lincoln, the state capital. He said he would put his "proven record" to work in Washington if elected to replace Hagel, one of several retiring GOP incumbents.

"As mayor, I prioritized law enforcement and held the line on property taxes," he said. "I served as governor during some of the most difficult fiscal times in our state's history, and during the attacks of 9/11. And as secretary of agriculture, I was responsible for the safety nets for all of America's farmers."

Hagel's decision to step down has provided an opening for Democrats, with former senator and governor Bob Kerrey considering a Senate comeback. Despite the state's generally strong Republican leanings, Democrats have won nine out of the last 11 Senate elections in the Cornhusker State.

But Johanns, who won 69 percent of the vote when re-elected governor in 2002, is considered a strong contender to keep the seat in GOP hands. He will face a primary battle against a field that includes state Attorney General Jon Bruning and Hal Daub, a former congressman and mayor of Omaha.

- CNN Political Writer Matt Smith

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Daniel, NY

    Hal Daub has withdrawn from the GOP race. Assuming Kerrey decides to run, this race will be extremely competitive - check out these recently updated Senate Rankings.

    October 10, 2007 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  2. Terry, El Paso, TX

    "It's time to restore the people's trust in a government that, in my judgment, has strayed too far from conservative values..." says the candidate.

    Actually, our country has been dominated by Conservative principles for the past seven years, but Conservatives keep telling us that the way to fix the nation's problems is to "return" to Conservatism. This administration and the Reagan administration provided us with some good examples of what Conservatism is: (1)Say anything to get elected then do nothing you said. (2) When elected, try to bankrupt the country with deficit spending. (3) Meanwhile, pay your debts to the global corporations for all those campaign contributions you accepted by giving them BIG contracts with NO oversight and allow them to pretty much steal the government blind. (4) Give the wealthy enormous tax cuts and give the chumps a $50 tax cut. (5) Take heroic stands against flag burning, gay marriage, and children's programs.

    God protect our Republic from more Conservatism.

    October 10, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. Steve, Monument Valley, DE

    Hey Matt, Hal Daub dropped out of the race two weeks ago and endorsed Johanns.

    October 10, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  4. ShC

    well you should cleanup O street downtown ,while governor and west 0,and do something about those building's downtown.I will elect a democrat for infastructure,and to the stadium to get there alott easier.than all that traffic.and all those needless traffic lights.

    October 11, 2007 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  5. anon, new york, NY

    Johanns left his post a Argriculture Secrtary because he realised that Bush's ship is sinking and over in abt a yr, and he would be without a job if he didnt jump ship. The republican regime is over for at least another 4 yrs. In his view, this senate seat for a 6 yr term is a sure win.

    October 11, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  6. Daniel, NY

    New seat has opened up in the House, as Ralph Regula has announced his retirement! OH-16 is competitive, and another headache for the GOP.

    October 11, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |