The Nebraska Republican party congregated in Kearney Saturday night in part to honor U.S. Senator Mike Johanns for his over three decades of service.
The event was the Founders Day awards dinner which happens every two years. Johanns and his wife Stephanie were inducted into the Nebraska Republican Party Hall of Fame.
"This is an honor. This is a wonderful state to get this honor, it's great," said Johanns.
"I personally feel like he's the quarterback of my favorite football team announcing his retirement, but I know he's not going away," said 3rd District Representative Adrian Smith.
"Nebraska is so blessed to have someone like Mike Johanns represent us in the U.S. Senate," said Mark Fahleson, NEGOP chairman. "His life has been about public service and I think his life is a testimony of what Nebraskans want in their elected officials.
Johanns reflected on his years of service both in Nebraska and nationally.
"You know what always stood out working with the people here, when we started a state-wide effort which was the governor's race outside of Lincoln, we were not very well known; and now some years later we can say we have friends in every single county," said Johanns.
Johann's term ends in 2014 and the race for his seat is wide open.