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Local politics

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    Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, said Wednesday he wants to see a “red-state conservative” as the next House majority whip.By Thursday, he reportedly had decided he is that person.
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Nebraska Sen. Johanns won't seek 2nd term

LINCOLN, Neb. – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska announced Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2014, explaining he wants a “quieter time” to focus on his family following a busy political career that has included a stint as governor and as President George W. Bush’s agriculture secretary.

The Nebraska Republican announced in a statement that was retiring from the Senate after one term. He said he and his wife, Stephanie, had decided the time has come “to close this chapter of our lives.”

“During these many years, we have cherished our time together,” the couple said in an email statement. “So as we think about the next stage of our lives, we want a quieter time with our focus on each other, our family and our faith. We are also confident that there will be many more opportunities to serve our state and our nation.”

Johanns joined the U.S. Senate in 2009. He served as agriculture secretary under Bush and was Nebraska’s governor from 1999 to 2005.

In a separate statement, Gov. Dave Heineman called Johanns “a remarkably outstanding public official.”

“We are forever thankful for his commitment to serving our citizens, in particular, our farmers and ranchers, and our veterans,” Heineman said.

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