LINCOLN (AP) - Nebraska's outgoing Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood is bowing out of the governor's race less than a month after he declared he was running.
Flood said Thursday in a statement posted online that he is withdrawing from the 2014 race to care for his family because his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer this week. Flood is a respected Republican lawmaker who helped broker compromises on difficult issues while leading the Legislature. But term limits are forcing him to leave office. Current Gov. Dave Heineman cannot run in 2014 because of term limits. Republican Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy is running for the governor's job.
“It has been a true joy to have traveled the State of Nebraska the last six months, and to serve as Speaker of the Unicameral the last six years,” said Flood. “This is a great state, with a bright future. Nebraskans set an example for the rest of the country, we are hardworking, we don’t spend more than we earn, we are good neighbors, and we take care of our families,” said Flood. “Now it’s time for me to take care of my family. This week my wife Mandi was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am going home to Norfolk to take care of her and our boys Brenden and Blake.
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I have had here in the legislature to move our state forward, and for the opportunity to get to know so many Nebraskans in communities across the state. I am hopeful for the future of our state but I am committed first and foremost to my wife and sons.”