Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns will enter the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Nebraska, according to media reports Wednesday.
Johanns will resign as secretary of agriculture in President Bush's Cabinet, a position he accepted in 2005. The former Nebraska governor and Lincoln mayor was reported to be house hunting in Omaha in recent days.
A formal announcement will not be made until next week, according to sources.
Johanns will seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, a seat that opened up when Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., announced his retirement.
While leading Republicans in Nebraska have been urging Johanns to run, he will be entering a crowded GOP field, with Jon Bruning, Nebraska attorney general; Hal Daub, former Omaha mayor and former Nebraska congressman; and Pat Flynn, a Schuyler businessman; declared as candidates.
On the Democratic side, Bob Kerrey, who has served as governor and as U.S. senator for two terms in Nebraska, is considering throwing in his hat. Kerrey currently is president of New School University in New York, where he has already informed his trustees that he may resign to run for the Senate race in Nebraska.
Johanns, 57, resigned as governor in 2005 to take the secretary of agriculture post.