Less than three months into the 2014 cycle and two gubernatorial candidates who once looked like front-runners have been felled by affairs. Nebraska LG Rick Sheehy (R) has resigned, and almost certainly will drop his gubernatorial campaign as well.
Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy resigned his post abruptly Saturday after questions were raised by The World-Herald about improper cell phone calls to four women, other than his wife, during the past four years... Sheehy made thousands of late-night telephone calls to the women on his state-issued cell phone, many of them long conversations held in the wee hours of the night. Gov. Dave Heineman announced the resignation at a 10 a.m. press conference. "I've got a knot in my stomach. I'm deeply disappointed. He's done a lot of good things for the state, but that trust was broken, and he's resigned," Heineman said. He said he would begin the process of filling the post Monday.
These developments throw the race into a state of profound confusion. The contest had looked like Sheehy's to lose after his main rival, Unicameral Speaker Mike Flood (R-Norfolk) abruptly dropped out due to family medical issues. State Sen. Charlie Janssen (R-Fremont) had been considering the race; expect him to jump in quickly now. Other names might include auditor Mike Foley and SoS John Gale. AG Jon Bruning and Treasurer Don Stenberg might reconsider staying out of the race now as well. On the D side, the main names talked about for the race remain the same: University Regent and 2012 Senate candidate Chuck Hassebrook, State Sen. Steve Lathrop, and Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler.
The next question is what will happen to the LG slot. I suppose if Heineman likes Janssen giving him the LG slot would be a good way to cement him as the front-runner. Otherwise it looks like we'll see a generic placeholder there.
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