U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel posted a farewell letter on his website Thursday. Hagel leaves office in January, turning his seat over to former Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns.
In the letter, Hagel thanks Nebraskans for allowing him to represent the state in Congress for 12 years. "The challenges for Nebraska’s agri-business community, the anchor of prosperity for our state," he writes, "are continued innovation and concentration on value-added productivity and expanded trade."
He also speaks of the challenges facing Nebraskans, which he says, are of a global nature.
"Everything we do or don’t do has global implications, just like everything that happens around the world has implications for us here in Nebraska," he writes. "The world today is more dangerous, more complicated, more interconnected, and more combustible than ever before."
Hagel jokes, "Often when I was in a foreign land and people would ask me where I was from, I would respond by saying...“Nebraska, the Center of the Universe!” No one ever contested that definition. "
Hagel says the most dominant quality of the constituents he represented was their decency. "Whether or not they agreed with me, most of my constituents were courteous and understanding."
Johanns won Hagel's seat in November, in a decisive victory over Scott Kleeb.