LINCOLN — Gov. Dave Heineman is now in the record books as the state's longest-serving governor.
Heineman, a 64-year-old Republican, set the record Friday after surpassing the eight years served by each of two previous governors, Ben Nelson and the late Jim Exon.
Governors are constitutionally barred from being elected to more than two consecutive, four-year terms.
But Heineman, then lieutenant governor, assumed the job on Jan. 21, 2005, when then-Gov. Mike Johanns was appointed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
That gave Heineman nearly two years in office before he ran for election the first time.
In 2006, he upset Husker football coach Tom Osborne in the GOP primary and then swept to victory in the general election.
Heineman, who was re-elected in 2010, will have served 10 years as governor when he vacates the office, due to term limits, in January 2015.
Asked Monday for his reaction to the achievement, the governor said he doesn't have time to think about it.
He said he was “honored and privileged” to serve the state.