Catching up I

Republican nominee for governor Pete Ricketts has chosen the current lieutenant governor, Lavon Heidemann, as his running mate.

Heidemann, 55, has been lieutenant governor since February 2013, Lavon Heidemanwhen he was appointed to the post by Gov. Dave Heineman to replace Lt. Gov.Rick Sheehy. Heideman served eight years in the legislature, six years as chairman of the appropriations committee. In 2012, he was elected a University of Nebraska regent.

Heidemann, whose website describes him as a farmer, rancher and volunteer firefighter, links the billionaire Ricketts to the everyday world of agriculture. As a former state senator, Heidemann also would be an asset in dealing with the legislature. Ricketts has no previous experience in government.

Ricketts faces Chuck Hassebrook in the race to replace the term-limited Heineman.


What does think of Gov. Heineman’s bid to become president of the University of Nebraska?

Since you asked, we think he’s too old. He’ll be 67 when his term ends, and we’d prefer he pursue the normal activities of a retired Dave Heinemangovernor his age: Run for another office, find a nonprofit to join, sit on corporate boards, scout Washington for a lobbying gig. Who knows? There’s an election in 2016, and there might be a new Republican administration looking for a guy just like him.

No offense to the governor, but we just think he’s too old to start a new career as the top administrator of an institution as large and diverse as the university system. Maybe if he’d done a better job with the large and diverse state Department of Health and Human Services …


Jim Jenkins of Callaway, an independent in the race to succeed Mike Johanns in the U.S. Senate, told the Fremont Tribune that he has more than enough signatures to get his name on the ballot, and will be submitting them in a couple of weeks.

Jim JenkinsJenkins runs the family ranch in Custer County. After college, he worked in Illinois and Ohio , then returned to Nebraska to raise his family. He launched the Whiskey Creek Steakhouse chain and Skeeter Barnes restaurants.

Jenkins also was chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board.


Daniel Keylin, who Nebraskans might remember as communications director for Sen. Deb Fischer during her successful 2012 campaign, has joined the staff of Thom Tillis, according to Roll Call. Tillis is the current house speaker in North Carolina. He is trying to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.


Nebraska GOP: No to minimum wage, no to tonight’s debate

Chuck Hassebrook, the only Democrat seeking to replace Gov. Dave Heineman, was the only one of the seven candidates to say he would support a hike in the $7.25-an-hour minimum wage at a candidate’s forum in Lincoln on Tuesday.

Omaha television station KETV reported that all six of the Republican candidates for governor said they would veto legislation passed by the legislature to raise the minimum wage during the forum hosted by the Lincoln Independent Business Association.

You can find a report on the forum or KETV’s entire 42-minute footage of the LIBA event here.

And while we’re on the topic of Republican candidates for governor, the Nebraska GOP canceled the debate scheduled for Wednesday in Papillion on the very day it was to be held. Reported Robynn Tysver in the  Omaha World-Herald:

The Nebraska Republican Party has also canceled a debate among its four candidates for the U.S. Senate that was to be held April 7 in Lincoln. That date raised eyebrows when it was announced because the NCAA men’s basketball championship game was already scheduled for the same night.

Finally, happy birthday to Nebraska Senate candidate Bart McLeay, who will celebrate his 55th birthday on Thursday, unless it, too, is canceled by the GOP. McLeay would like to celebrate by raising $55,000 in campaign funds. Click here if you’d like to help.

CORRECTION: Mr. McLeay’s birthday is Feb. 28. uVoted4them apologizes. We have spring fever and were just a little too eager to put February behind us. Sorry.