Sen. Lathrop passes on Democratic bid for governor

Sen. Steve Lathrop on the floor of the Nebraska Legislature earlier this year.

Steve Lathrop is out.

Lathrop took his name out of the mix Friday, saying he will pass on a run for governor.

The Omaha Democrat was considered one of the strongest potential Democrats in the field. After months of consideration, however, Lathrop decided the time was not right.

For the past three years, Lathrop has served in the Nebraska Legislature. He said he planned to finish out his term next year and then take a break from public service for awhile.

But, he emphasized, it may not be the end of his political career.

"I'm not going away forever, just taking a break," said Lathrop.

Lathrop's announcement comes a day after another Democrat jumped into the fray.

State Sen. Annette Dubas said she plans to run, with a formal announcement coming later this fall.

Dubas' entry guarantees the first competitive Democratic primary match for governor in Nebraska in decades.

Dubas will be competing against Chuck Hassebrook, a former member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, for the party's nomination.

In the other side, four Republicans are expected to run.

Sens. Tom Carlson of Holdrege and Charlie Janssen of Fremont have already announced plans to run.

Charles Herbster, owner of a Kansas City, Mo., manufacturing company and a Falls City cattle ranch, has not formally announced, but he has formed a campaign committee and hired staff.

Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts, whose 2006 bid for the U.S. Senate was unsuccessful, is expected to jump into the governor’s race in September.

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