Nebraska governor picks ex-state senator for lieutenant governor

OMAHA, Nebraska Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:25pm EST

Nebraska state Governor Dave Heineman attends the signing of a trade agreement with Pedro Alvarez, head of the Cuban food import agency Alimport, at the Palco Hotel in Havana March 27, 2007. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

Nebraska state Governor Dave Heineman attends the signing of a trade agreement with Pedro Alvarez, head of the Cuban food import agency Alimport, at the Palco Hotel in Havana March 27, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Enrique De La Osa

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OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) - Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman on Wednesday named a former state senator as successor to ex-Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy, who resigned abruptly after a newspaper investigation raised questions about thousands of phone calls he made to women.

Sheehy had served as lieutenant governor under Heineman starting in 2005 and had been seen as a leading candidate to succeed him as governor in the 2014 election.

The governor chose as his replacement Lavon Heidemann, 54, who was elected to the University of Nebraska board of regents in November and had served in the state Senate from 2005 to 2013. A farmer from Elk Creek, Nebraska, Heidemann said he would not run for governor in 2014.

Sheehy, 53, resigned on February 2 after the Omaha World-Herald reported that he had made about 2,000 late-night calls to four women, other than his wife, on his state-issued cellphone over four years.

Heineman had selected Sheehy as lieutenant governor in 2005 after he assumed the governorship when Governor Mike Johanns was appointed U.S. agriculture secretary.

Heineman and Sheehy were elected to their first full term in 2006 and re-elected to a second term in 2010. Heineman will leave office in 2015.

(Editing by David Bailey and Eric Beech)

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