Kerik Picked to Fill Ridge's Vacated Position

Former NYPD Commissioner tapped to become Homeland Security Secretary

Nelson praised Bush's selection, saying: "The person who will administer the farm bill and build the future of agriculture in America needs to be somebody with Midwestern agricultural experience."

Johanns was a Democrat when he was elected in 1982 to a county board of commissioners; he left the board five years later and became a Republican in 1988. He became mayor of Lincoln in 1991, was elected governor in 1988, and was reelected in 2002.

"In my campaign for governor, we ran a radio ad and it said, 'After growing up on a dairy farm, the son of John and Adeline Johanns, everything in life has seemed easy after that,' " Johanns said.