Photo by George Lauby
Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale announced Monday that his current term would be his last, and he will not seek re-election in 2018.When Gale completes his current term, he will have served 18 years in office.
He practiced law in North Platte for 29 years before serving as Nebraska’s 26th secretary of state.
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. As Nebraska’s chief elections officer, Gale says he is proud of the conduct of statewide elections being smooth, reliable, fair, accessible, accountable, transparent, and secure during the past 16 years.
Before he leaves, office, Gale said he has a bucket list:
• 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.
Gale said now is a good time to make the announcement.
“I think there are many potential candidates out there who will be interested in this job if I don’t run,” he said. “This will give them a chance to file in plenty of time to run in the May 2018 primary.”
Gale was born Oct. 23, 1940, in Omaha. He grew up in Ogallala and Omaha before living in North Platte. He is a graduate of Omaha North High School, received a B.A. degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. and earned a law degree from the University of Chicago.
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.
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.
As secretary of state, Gale oversees elections, business services, occupational licensing, state agency rules and regulations, records management, international relations and youth civics programs.
By law, he also 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.