Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., announced Wednesday he will seek re-election instead of running for the state’s open Senate seat.
“I greatly appreciate the support and encouragement of the many Nebraskans who have urged me to consider a campaign for the United States Senate. After considerable reflection, I have decided not to run for the Senate,” Fortenberry said in a statement.
Fortenberry is the second Republican in the past week to take his name out of the running for a seat that the GOP is heavily favored to hold in 2014. Gov. Dave Heineman, who is term-limited next year and was the top GOP recruit for this race, opted out of running on May 25.
Their decisions not to run have no bearing at this point on the competitiveness of the race for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Mike Johanns. Other Republicans with statewide campaign experience are interested, and Democrats are not expected to expend valuable resources in this GOP-leaning state.
Former state Treasurer Shane Osborn is likely to run, as Stuart Rothenberg has reported. Other potential candidates include former Senate nominee Pete Ricketts, Midland University President Ben Sasse and two 2012 Senate candidates, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and state Treasurer Don Stenberg.
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.