The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Hannah Van Ree

Sen. Johanns, wife to step away from public spotlight


U.S. Senator Mike Johanns and his wife Stephanie announced Monday Feb. 18 that he will not be running for reelection in 2014.

Johanns and his wife wrote a message addressed to all Nebraskans after announcing their decision for him to not run for a seat in the U.S. Senate again.

“Words are inadequate to fully express our appreciation for the friendship and support you have given to us over the past three decades,” they wrote.

“With everything in life, there is a time and a season. At the end of this term we will have been in public service for over 32 years. It is time to close this chapter of our lives.”

Between both Mr. and Mrs. Johanns, one of their names has been on the ballot of primary and general elections a total of 16 times, and together they’ve served in eight offices, the couple explained.

After many years of serving the couple said that they are looking forward to taking time to enjoy family and a calmer pace.

“As we think about the next stage of our lives, we want a quieter time with our focus on each other, our family and our faith,” they said.

Senators, congressmen and the Governor of Neb., Dave Heineman all said that they are sad to see Johanns go but that he had served the state and country very well.

“For over 30 years Mike Johanns has dedicated his life to serving the citizens of Nebraska. Mike’s time in public service began as a county board member, then city council member, mayor, Governor of Nebraska, Secretary of Agriculture and United States Senator. Few Nebraskans have served in so many different roles and had such a tremendous impact in each one of them,” said U.S. Senator Deb Fischer in a press release Monday following the retirement statement.

“But Mike would be the first to tell you that his success is only possible through the counsel, love, and support of his wife Stephanie,” continued the senator.

“I am personally grateful for Mike’s leadership in the Senate and all he has done in helping to smooth my transition,” she said. “His rare mix of strong leadership and warm collegiality has earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues from both sides of the aisle.

“While I am fortunate to have two more years to serve alongside him, I am sad to see Mike leave the Senate. On behalf of all Nebraskans, Bruce and I wish Mike and Stephanie the very best as they begin this new chapter of their lives.”

U.S. Congressman Adrian Smith also thanked Johanns for his service in a press release soon after Johanns’ announcement.

“I thank Senator Johanns for his outstanding service to Nebraska and the nation. I am grateful for his friendship and the leadership he has demonstrated at the local, state and federal levels, and I look forward to continuing to work with him for the next two years to represent the people of Nebraska,” said the congressman.

Gov. Heineman also commended Senator Johanns this Monday on what he accomplished during his time in office.

Heineman called Johanns, “a remarkably outstanding public official” during his decades of service at local as well as national levels.

“As a mayor, a governor, a cabinet secretary and now as a U.S. senator, Senator Johanns has always been a leader of our state and of our nation. We are forever thankful for his commitment to serving our citizens, in particular our farmers and ranchers, and our veterans. Nebraskans are proud of you,” said Heineman.

Although Johanns and his wife are stepping out of the more demanding spotlight, they said that they are determined to still serve the people of Nebraska and the nation.

“We are confident that there will be many more opportunities to serve our state and our nation. We look forward to the remaining time in the Senate. It is an honor to have served in so many ways over so many years,” said Johanns.

“May God continue to bless Nebraska and our great nation,” they said.


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