Posted 10 months ago
By John Axtell
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has chosen former state Sen. Lavon Heidemann of Elk Creek as his new lieutenant governor, making the announcement Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol.
Heidemann, elected to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents last November, resigned that post shortly before taking the oath of office during a public ceremony that was part of the governor’s news conference announcing his selection.
The 54-year-old Heidemann served as chairman of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee during his eight years in the Legislature…which he left last year because of term limits. He is a farmer-rancher, and serves his community as a volunteer firefighter.
A Republican like the governor, Heidemann replaces Rick Sheehy…who resigned earlier this month following a newspaper report that he had made thousands of personal calls to women, other than his wife, on his state-issued cellphone.
Governor Heineman said at the combination news conference swearing-in ceremony that he’d gotten to know and respect the new lieutenant governor during Heidemann’s 6 years as chairman of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee…calling him “a proven, dedicated public servant for the citizens of Nebraska.”
Heidemann said he was excited about becoming lieutenant governor because public service is something he believes in deeply, but admitted he hated to leave the Board of Regents after serving less than 2 months.
The governor will appoint the replacement for Heidemann on the Board of Regents, and that person will serve for two years, until the next election. The regents position is unpaid but the lieutenant governor is paid $75,000 annually.
The governor had said after Sheehy’s resignation that he wanted to appoint someone who would not be running next year to be his successor…calling it an unfair advantage over the other candidates. Heidemann says he agrees completely.