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NE-Gov: LG Rick Sheehy Resigns After Affair

by: shamlet

Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 11:57:55 AM EST

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.

shamlet :: NE-Gov: LG Rick Sheehy Resigns After Affair
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What an idiot
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.

What an idiot. If you're going to use a backup cell phone to do dirty deeds, do it Walter White style with a prepaid cell phone! I guess he didn't want to pay the inexpensive fee for one and this happened instead.

But, in all seriousness, thankfully this came out now and not in a few months. Here's to hoping Lee Terry runs in the primary so we can get someone who can hold onto NE-02 with ease.

From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and working for the summer in DC-AL.

Andy Hill for WA-Governor!

This probably goes along with
the fact he and his wife divorced last year. This does put the race in some turmoil right now, however I was never convinced he was a great candidate in the first place. Lieutenant Governors in Nebraska by design don't have very much power and are not very high profile. Sheehy had done little to put himself in the public eye, and had not shown he could handle the rigors of a statewide campaign.

As far as who gets in, I think it would be an almost certainty that Charlie Janssen gets in now. He has been making more public moves toward a race recently But he may wait until after the legislative session to announce a bid(like Deb Fischer did). He is involved with some big legislation right now, and probably doesn't want to distract himself from that. That makes it unlikely he would get tapped for the LG slot too. I really don't know who else would get in. Mike Foley has often been named as a possible candidate, but he has never really indicated an interest in running. I still think Bruning and Stenberg stay out. There are a number of other state senators who could get in too.

I think it's likely somebody who is not interested in running in 2014 will get the LG slot. One name that has already been floated is Tom Osborne, who just retired as University of Nebraska Athletic Director. He actually turned down the job back in 2001 when he was a congressman-then LG Dave Maurstad resigned to take a position with FEMA, and it was revealed later that Osborne was the first person that Mike Johanns offered the job to. Another possibility(pure speculation on my part) might be Mark Fahleson, who just retired as chairman of the Nebraska GOP. Otherwise, I think it's likely to be somebody who is not currently in office, like a retired state senator.

43, R, NE-1.

What about Stephanie Johanns? I imagine she's decently well-known and she has a history in public office  

Male, LA-01
Scott Walker '16

[ Parent ]
although I'm not sure how that would work with Mike being in Washington. She does as you say have a history in public office-served as a state senator back in the 1980s.

43, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
Would any of the House delegation be interested now?
Flood and Sheehy are out and Bruning and Stenberg were recently stung by the Senate race, so any of Fortenberry, Terry, or Smith would seemingly start the primary in a very strong position. Fischer and Johanns are both young by Senate standards, so this might be the last opportunity for a while if one of them wants a promotion.

Hard to tell until things shake out
None of them have ever shown any interest in running for governor before, but Sheehy had kind of frozen out any big names because he had Heineman's support. If I had to guess at which would be most interested in running for governor, it would be Smith because he was a state senator before running for Congress. Fortenberry seems likely to stay in the House seeing as he turned down a shot at the Senate seat last year and he just got a spot on the Appropriations Committee. Terry also seems likely to stay in the House considering he has been there since 1998 and has never shown any interest or even been mentioned as a candidate for statewide office.

43, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
A few more names
Along with Charlie Janssen, these are other names mentioned by Mark Fahleson, the outgoing chairman of the Nebraska GOP as people who might be interested in running for governor: Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, former Sen. Philip Erdman of Bayard, and University of Nebraska Regent Tim Clare of Lincoln.

43, R, NE-1.


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