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Janssen makes it official: He’s running for governor

By   /   February 18, 2013  /   18 Comments

By Deena Winter and Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

LINCOLN – Sen. Charlie Janssen announced today he is running for governor in 2014.

Janssen made it official today in front of a crowd of about 150 at Midland University in his hometown of Fremont. He didn’t come to the decision lightly saying the country took a wrong turn in 2008 and again in 2012.

Sen. Charlie Janssen announces his bid for governor today in Fremont.

Calling himself a plain-spoken guy, the Republican senator said he opposes big government and wants state government that stays out of people’s way. He’s known for his tough stance on illegal immigration and has pushed for legislation requiring people to present identification in order to vote. He’s also pushing to repeal a law passed last session allowing the state to pay for prenatal care for illegal immigrants.

The chairman of the state Democratic Party, Vince Powers, has been skewering Janssen and Republicans for moving farther to the right, saying in a statement today, “With Johanns’ retirement, the Nebraska Republican Party continues to define their future by skewing even more to the right thanks to State Senator Charlie Janssen’s announcement today that he will run for Governor in 2014 and Governor Heineman stalling his ill-conceived tax plan to hurt Nebraska’s middle class.”

Janssen served in the Navy and was a member of the Fremont City Council for two years before being elected to the Legislature in 2008 and re-elected last year. He served in the Persian Gulf War as a search-and-rescue swimmer aboard a guided missile frigate in occupied Kuwait. He returned home and started a medical staffing company.

He pledged to work for tax and regulatory reform and economic development and job creation.

He marks the only candidate officially in the race to replace Gov. Dave Heineman, who cannot run again due to term limits. Former Speaker Mike Flood dropped out of the race in December after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and former Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy recently began returning campaign donations and is expected to drop out of the race after resigning as lieutenant governor.

Other Republicans considering the race include Omaha Sen. Beau McCoy, State Auditor Mike Foley and State Treasurer Don Stenberg. Democrats mulling over a bid include Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop and former University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook. Former NU Regent Tim Clare has decided not to make a run.

Contact Deena Winter at [email protected].

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here.


Deena formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • If Senator Janssed proposes all the far-right legislation in the Unicam, and if nothing gets passed which it won’t does that mean he is popular?
    Back to the stone age for Nebraska if this guy gets elected Gov.

  • resistwemuch

    Mr. Fulton: Throw your hat in the ring. Use your outspoken opposition to Janssen as an opportunity to take it to him in the public forum. I’ll send you $50.00 to assist your campaign once you sign the necessary paperwork to qualify and pay the appropriate filing fees. Best of luck.

  • Bam

    Oooh, cool! The stone age! Brontoburgers and foot-powered cars and dinosaurs as pets!

    “Back to the stone age.” Phhffftt. Doesn’t get more hackneyed than that.

  • Bam

    I love how Brer Powers advises Republicans to be more like Democrats.

  • No thanks I can not lower myself to appeal to the bigots and small minded people that are Senator Janssen’s consituents.

  • Look at that picture. What is with the old guys in uniform. Who is Senator Janssen appealing to; guys that might not even live to the next election.
    So they are military so what isn’t it time America stopped glorifying the military? Maybe this country would stop invading other smaller countries then.

    ricky from omaha

  • Should not Senator Janssen be worried about paying the city of Fremont back fo the million dollars it lost in legal fees to the ACLU for the unconstitutional anti-immigrant laws Janssen pushed through?
    Who is going to pay for a state wide screw up in the unlikely event Janssen gets elected Governor? No thanks.
    And does Senator Janssen really think the United Nations is coming to take over America?

  • OutWst

    This is mostly hilarious.

  • D. Mark

    What branch of the military were you in, that you criticize those who served?

  • resistwemuch

    Ricky: Knew you would cop out. All mouth and no a**.

  • ToucheTurtle

    Oh, good old Ricky probably wasn’t in the military or else he wouldn’t make such ignorant remarks!!! Only true patriotic Americans respect the sacrifice made on their behalf by the men/women in the uniforms of our military and therefore show the appropriate amount of appreciation. I think maybe we ought to take up a collection and help good old Ricky “migrate” to a land location more appropriate for his frame of mind . . . if you get my drift!!! Got any ideas?

  • resistwemuch

    Not only does Ricky play the race card (bigots) he also has no appreciation for the old white guys who kept this country free for him to run off at the mouth.

  • Doug Emery

    Hagel and Kerry did not get exempted from “criticism” even though they were injured veterans. So why should Senator Janssen get a pass because he is a veteran? While I respect all veterans, and am a veteran myself, it seems a bit late in the game to play the “respect” card when it hasn’t been played this far. I respect Senator Janssen for his service and respectfully disagree with most of his agenda

  • Standing for common sense, the Rule of Law, upholding the integrity of our voting process and the proven ability to stand against great adversity – I wish Sen Janssen great success.

  • ToucheTurtle

    Respecting someone for having served their country has absolutely NOTHING to do with the job they are elected to do and how well they are doing it. But to try to demean a group of people who risked their lives to preserve our freedoms does not set well with me. Apparently you have a problem understanding the difference!

  • Bo Pelini

    Nebraska would be the laughing stock of the entire nation if they elected this moron

  • Doug Emery

    Evidently you don’t grasp the concept of equality. I AGREE that demeaning someone because they are a veteran is wrong. However I did not see you complaining when Kerry and Hagel were being demeaned. There were many derogatory things said about both individuals that were about their service.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    And what about the old black guys, the old brown guys, the old yellow guys and the old red guys who fought, died and won congressional Medals of Honor who kept this country free for ignoramuses like you to run your mouth off? Hmm? Only white guys count as Americans for you?