OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Former Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman says he won’t run for his old office next year, shutting the door on a possible candidacy that would have brought another well-known figure into the gubernatorial race.

Heineman, a Republican and the state’s longest-serving governor, announced his decision in a message to friends.

Heineman would have joined a competitive GOP primary field that includes University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen, of Columbus; Falls City business executive Charles Herbster; state Sen. Brett Lindstrom, of Omaha; former state Sen. Theresa Thibodeau, of Omaha; Breland Ridenour, an Omaha information technology manager; and Michael Connely, a Lincoln educational adviser.