Former state Sen. Theresa Thibodeau of Omaha announced Tuesday that she is withdrawing as gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster's running mate, citing "potential opportunities that would conflict with the campaign."
Thibodeau, who was appointed to the Legislature by Gov. Pete Ricketts in 2017 to fill the unexpired term of Joni Craighead, was defeated in 2018 by Machaela Cavanaugh when she sought election to a four-year term.
Herbster introduced Thibodeau as his running mate when he entered the 2022 Republican gubernatorial race at a rally in Fremont in April.
"At this time, I do not feel I will be able to devote the needed time to the campaign," Thibodeau said in a brief news release.
"In fairness to Charles and his wonderful team, I want to thank them for their support and wish them the best for a successful election.
"I look forward to the continuation of conservative leadership in Nebraska," Thibodeau said.
Said Herbster: "I greatly respect Theresa's decision as well as her devotion to her community."
Herbster, a Falls City agri-businessman, is engaged in a competitive 2022 Republican primary contest that includes University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen of Columbus and state Sen. Brett Lindstrom of Omaha.
Former Gov. Dave Heineman is actively considering entering the race and is currently traveling to a number of communities assessing potential support for his candidacy.
"Nebraskans across the state have asked me to consider doing that, so I'm trying to get out here, listen to them, understand what the issues are," he said during an interview with NTV News in Kearney last week.
"Right now, I'm hearing a lot about critical race theory, about immigration on the southern border, election security and, of course, property taxes for farmers."
Heineman expressed support for additional property tax relief and said he plans to take most of the summer and fall before making a decision.
"We've got a big state," he said. "I want to get all around. I want to talk to citizens."
Heineman was term-limited out of office in 2015 after serving 10 years as governor. He moved up from lieutenant governor when Gov. Mike Johanns was named U.S. secretary of agriculture in 2005, and then was elected to four-year terms in 2006 and 2010.