by Ben Raker
Mike Johanns, the republican senior senator from Nebraska, won't seek reelection in 2014. Having only served since 2009, Johanns' decision not to seek a second term caught many off-guard. Though Johanns hasn't served long in the senate, he has served in elected office since 1982, when he became Lancaster County Commissioner. He served as the mayor of Lincoln, Nebraska's second largest city, for much of the 90's, and as governor of Nebraska from '98 till 2005. He served in the Bush administration as secretary of the USDA until 2007 when he ran for the senate seat then held by Obama's current Secretary of Defense pick, Chuck Hagel.
He currently serves on several important committees including Appropriations and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. He also sits on the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry committee which fits with his service as the Agriculture secretary under Bush.
Johanns received his BA from St. Mary's University and attended Creighton University for law school. After he graduated in 1974, he worked as an attorney for two years before becoming a partner at Nelson, Johanns, Morris, Holdeman, and Titus.
You can see Mike Johanns' voting record, with summaries of the legislation, here, and a catalogue of his public speeches and statements here. Johanns has also responded to the Political Courage Test each year since first running for Governor in 1998.
Ben Raker is currently the project manager for Project Vote Smart's data categorization and coding project, which is laying the groundwork for more data visualizations and an easier user experience on the site. If you have questions about this project or anything we do here, please call 1-800-VOTE-SMART or email firstname.lastname@example.org.