Lincoln, NE – Having led the Secretary of State’s office through 16 years of significant change and growth, Sec. John Gale announced that his current term would be his last. He will not seek re-election as a Republican Party candidate nominee in 2018. Gale said, “Being Secretary of State has been one of the most fulfilling, exciting and memorable experiences of my career. I feel very lucky to have been able to offer my public service as a constitutional officer to Nebraska and its citizens.”
Sec. Gale was appointed in December 2000, by then Governor Mike Johanns. He completed the term vacated by Secretary Scott Moore and was elected to four-year terms in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. When Gale completes his current term, he will have served 18 years in office. He is the 26th Secretary of State for Nebraska.
Gale said he has a bucket list of important projects that are underway or will be initiated while he remains in office.
“My motto has always been ‘prompt, personal and professional service.’ Those characteristics will continue to guide us going forward. I have been fortunate to have strong and supportive staff members to carry out the projects we have undertaken in the past, and help create a vision for the office going forward.”
Completing the largest IT upgrade undertaken for the Business Services Division, allowing for improved levels of online service with businesses, banks and financial institutions.
Being part of the public forum to consider a new election system, the types of election technology, and related costs, that will best support that system and serve Nebraska Voters.
Ensuring that state government continues to provide citizens with quality and growing online services, available 24/7.
Undertaking a sizable move of many of the Secretary of State’s divisions as part of a project to upgrade the State Capitol’s HVAC system.
As Nebraska’s chief elections officer, Gale says he is most proud of the conduct of statewide elections being smooth, reliable, fair, accessible, accountable, transparent, and secure over the past 16 years.
Gale added, “That will continue to be a primary focus heading into the 2018 elections. We have had an outstanding partnership with our county election officials, and our vendors, especially Elections Systems and Software LLC of Omaha. We have also had policies and procedures in place to help guide our uniform voter registration and vote tabulations processes.”
Secretary Gale said, “While I have two years remaining in my current term, the 2018 campaign season begins soon. Since I have decided not to run, now is a good time to make my announcement. I think there are many potential candidates out there who will be interested in this job if I don’t run. This will give them a chance to file in plenty of time to run in the May 2018 primary.”
To all those who helped support and encourage his role as Secretary of State, Gale extended his heartfelt thanks. “I hope that the citizens feel I have served them well and that in some small way, I have repaid through good public service, the opportunities Nebraska has afforded my ancestors and my extended family to live and work in this great state.”
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Biography of Secretary of State John Gale
Gale was born on Oct. 23, 1940, in Omaha. A fifth-generation Nebraskan, Gale has close ties with different parts of the state. He grew up in Ogallala and Omaha and later lived in North Platte. He is a graduate of Omaha North High School, received a B.A. degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and earned a law degree from the University of Chicago.
He practiced law in North Platte for 29 years before serving as secretary of state. His background also includes service as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Roman Hruska in Washington, D.C., and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Nebraska.
While living in North Platte, he was active in the Sunrise Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, local and state bar associations, Boy Scouts, United Way and Great Plains Regional Medical Center. He has served in various positions in the Nebraska Republican Party, including chairman in 1986. In December 2000, Gale was appointed by Governor Mike Johanns to fill a vacancy created with the resignation of Scott Moore. A Republican, Gale was elected to four-year terms in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014.
As secretary of state, Gale oversees the following areas: elections, business services, occupational licensing, state agency rules and regulations, records management, international relations and youth civics programs.
By law, he serves on numerous state boards. He serves as chairman of the Records Board, Real Estate Commission and Collection Agency Licensing Board, as well as serving on the Pardons Board, Board of State Canvassers, and Accountability and Disclosure Commission.
Gale’s Tenure has been highlighted by the following:
Implemented major election improvements to meet the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Through his leadership, all counties in the state received new ballot tabulation equipment and switched to a statewide voter registration system.
Promoted efforts to increase voter participation. Gale worked to expand all-mail voting and early voting in 2015, launched NEReg2Vote, the state’s online voter registration system.
Designated chief protocol office for international relations by the legislature. In this role, Gale has promoted commercial, educational and cultural exchanges between foreign nations and Nebraska.
Pushed for increased and improved online access to state government, not only for his office, but for other state and county agencies as well.
Championed efforts to foster civic engagement and education among Nebraska’s youth through programs like Honor a Veteran, Student Vote, and Youth Election Service.
Gale has been active in the National Association of Secretaries of State. He has served on its Executive Committee and is a past chairman of its Business Services and International Relations committees.
Gale serves on the boards of Cornhusker Boys State and the Confucius Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He previously served on the board for the NEBRASKAland Foundation and was a member and elected chairman of the Sesquicentennial Commission 2014-2015.
Gale’s family includes his wife, Carol; sons David of Bassett, Nebraska, and Steven of Laramie, Wyoming; daughter Elaine of Sacramento, California; and five grandchildren.