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Johanns to Formally Kick Off Senate Bid on Oct. 10

Recently resigned Agriculture Secretary and former Gov. Mike Johanns (R) is set to announce his Senate candidacy Oct. 10-12 with a fly-around across the Cornhusker State, according to Republican insiders.

Meanwhile, hopeful Democrats still are awaiting word from former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D). The popular Vietnam War hero, who has lived in New York since retiring from the Senate in 2001, is considering running for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Chuck Hagel (R).

Kerrey “has spent time talking to Nebraskans, to his family and to individuals whose opinion he values in an attempt to make a decision that is complicated by the same sort of stuff you and I face whenever we contemplate changing jobs,” said one Kerrey confidant.

“On the one hand you have a compelling desire to serve your nation and help address many of the issues we face as a nation — like the war on terror, Iraq, health care, etc. On the other hand, you have to weigh the impact that making a change has on your family and your current employers.”

Kerrey is president of New York’s New School. His entrance into the Nebraska Senate race could put Hagel’s seat in play, despite the state’s strong Republican bent.

Meanwhile, former Rep. Hal Daub dropped out of the GOP primary race last week and endorsed Johanns, leaving the ex-governor to battle with state Attorney General Jon Bruning for the Republican nomination. Bruning has been campaigning since the spring.

— David M. Drucker

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