Less than a month after jumping into the race for governor of Nebraska, Mike Flood is dropping out.
Thursday, at a press conference in Lincoln, the outgoing Speaker of the Legislature announced he's withdrawing from the 2014 race to care for his family. Flood says his wife Mandi was diagnosed with breast cancer Monday. He said he's heading back home to Norfolk to take care of his wife and boys.
"I have got a very strong wife. Everything is going to be okay, long term. A lot of women in this state and across this country face these kinds of hurdles. This will be okay," said Flood.
Flood entered the race with a fair amount fanfare at this campaign kickoff event last month in Norfolk.
He has served eight years in the Legislature. Flood took on the role as speaker in 2007. He will be forced out at the end of the year by term limits.
The Associated Press calls Flood, "...a well-regarded lawmaker who's helped broker compromises on difficult issues..."
Flood's colleagues are sending messages of support. Former Nebraska Governor and current U.S. Senator Mike Johanns commended Flood for the move.
"The very fact that he's made this decision is a testament to his character, his principles, and his love for his wife and children," said the Republican.
In statements, U.S. Senator-Elect Deb Fisher said Mike and Mandi are, "in our thoughts and prayers as their family faces this challenge."
Current Governor Dave Heineman, whose term limits have him unable to run in 2014, said, "I respect Mike and his decision, and wish the Flood Family the best."
The man who would've been Flood's opponent in the primaries, Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy, also made a statement. He said, "I am saddened by the news. I've always appreciated working with Mike for the betterment of our state, and look forward to doing so again in the future."
Flood made a full statement on his campaign website. To read it, click here.
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