LINCOLN — Republican Mike Johanns, who logged more than 100,000 miles on his car during a three-year campaign across the state, was elected governor Tuesday.
Johanns defeated Democrat Bill Hoppner, a Lincoln business consultant and former political aide. Johanns had 54 percent and Hoppner had 46 percent of the vote with 91 percent of the precincts reporting.
Johanns began his campaign for governor shortly after winning re-election as mayor of Lincoln in 1995. His running mate and the new lieutenant governor was David Maurstad, a former mayor of Beatrice who has represented southeastern Nebraska's District 30 for four years in the Legislature.
His victory capped a Republican sweep of the Nebraska statehouse in Tuesday's elections.
He will succeed Democratic Gov. Ben Nelson, a popular governor who is finishing his second term and unable to run again.
Hoppner had hoped to succeed who beat him by just 42 votes for the 1990 Democratic nomination.
In his victory speech about two hours after the polls closed, Johanns thanked his supporters and then praised Hoppner for running a clean campaign.
”I appreciate the way he conducted himself with civility and grace, and I'm confident we'll be friends in the future,” Johanns said.