Heineman May Endorse Gubernatorial Candidate -- in the Spring

LINCOLN (AP) - Gov. Dave Heineman says he's open to endorsing a candidate in Nebraska's crowded Republican primary race for governor.  The Republican governor tells The Associated Press he hasn't made any decision, and he first wants to hear what all six hopefuls have to say on the campaign trail. Heineman says that if he does choose to back a candidate, an announcement wouldn't come until late April or early May. The primary election is on May 13.  Heineman says he's frequently asked for his opinion by Nebraskans who aren't familiar with the candidates. Six candidates are running: Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts, State Auditor Mike Foley, Omaha tax attorney Bryan Slone and Nebraska state Sens. Tom Carlson, Charlie Janssen and Beau McCoy. Heineman can't run for re-election in 2014 because of term limits. In 2012, Heineman endorsed then Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy in the 2014 race, but Sheehy dropped out of the race early in 2013 after he resigned as Lieutenant Governor. A report turned up hundreds of phone calls on a state-paid cell phone placed to women other than Sheehy's wife.