Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman says it could take several weeks to select a new Lieutenant Governor. Rick Sheehy abruptly resigned the post this weekend after questions were raised about his use of his state-issued cell phone to make late night private & lengthy calls.
Heineman said he cannot legally appoint a sitting state senator while the legislature is in session He said he did not want to wait until the end of the session because that would take too long.
He wants to choose someone who will commit to not running for governor in 2014. Term limits will keep Heineman from seeking another term.
In a news conference Monday, Heineman said he was aware of past rumors. "Everytime I was aware of something of a significant nature, I checked into it -- and until the set of circumstances arose on Friday, when it became very clear what was going on -- I talked to him about it. It ended in resignation."
With an open field -- Republican party leaders aren't even sure who will be in. "There will be candidates we've never heard of," said Mark Fahleson, state GOP chair.
The Democrats smell blood. "When one party is in power so long -- there's arrogance, scandal and corruption," said state DEM chair Vince Powers.
The governor says he expects the primary to be competitive for both parties. He says he is getting feedback from others who are suggesting possible appointees. He declined to name any publicly.