Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson surprised voters Tuesday, when he announced plans to retire from the political arena he has served in for much of his life. Nelson issued the following statement.
“My Fellow Nebraskans: I’ve had the honor of serving as your Governor and United States Senator. During this time we’ve accomplished a great deal. As Governor I helped our state experience unprecedented economic growth, cut taxes and left state government with a surplus.
As your Senator, we’ve opened new markets for our agricultural and manufacturing products; expanded the use of ethanol; secured STRATCOM’s future; built new veterans’ clinics, a soon-to-be veterans’ hospital in Omaha, and research facilities at our universities; and kept taxes low.
There is much more that needs to be done to keep America strong. And while I relish the opportunity to undertake the work that lies ahead, I also feel it’s time for me to step away from elective office, spend more time with my family, and look for new ways to serve our state and nation. Therefore, I am announcing today that I will not seek reelection. Simply put: It is time to move on.
I encourage those who will follow in my footsteps to look for common ground and to work together in bipartisan ways to do what’s best for the country, not just one political party.
Public office is a place for public service, not personal profit. It’s about promoting the common good, not the agenda of the radical right or the radical left. It’s about fairness for all, not privileges for the few. And, it’s about protecting the rights of individuals, even if it angers the majority. I hope and believe I have fulfilled these principles to the best of my ability.
I’ll be forever grateful to the citizens of Nebraska for the great honor to serve this great country and represent our great state. Thank you and God bless.”