Agriculture Boss Leaving to Run for Senate

Critics quick to attack, question his timing
By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted Sep 20, 2007 4:41 AM CDT
US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns at a press conference.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns is resigning to run for the Nebraska senate seat that Rebublican Chuck Hagel will vacate at the end of 2008. Johanns' timing is less than perfect—he is leaving before Congress approves a new farm bill—something his campaign rivals will surely jump on, along with his refusal to provide Nebraska with drought relief and his support for President Bush's unpopular immigration policy.

While the Republican field for Hagel's Senate seat is crowded, no Democrats have yet announced their candidacy. Former Nebraska governor and two-term senator Bob Kerrey is expected to make a decision soon.