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John A. Gale

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John A. Gale
John Gale.jpg
Nebraska Secretary of State
In office
Term ends
Years in position 15
PredecessorScott Moore
Base salary$85,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$417,707
Appointed byGov. Mike Johanns (R)
Term limitsNone
Bachelor'sCarleton College (1962)
J.D.University of Chicago Law School (1965)
Date of birthOctober 23, 1940
Place of birthOmaha, Nebraska
Office website
John A. Gale campaign logo
John A. Gale (born October 23, 1940, in Omaha, Nebraska) is the 26th and current Nebraska Secretary of State. A Republican, he was first appointed to the position in 2000 by Governor Mike Johanns to fill a vacancy left when Scott Moore resigned.

Gale easily won election to his first full term in 2002 and was subsequently re-elected in 2006 and 2010. In his role as secretary of state, Gale oversees elections, business services, occupational licensing, state agency rules and regulations, records management, international relations and youth civics programs.

Gale requested and was subsequently named chief protocol officer for international relations by the Legislature. He has used this role to promote commerce, educational studies and cultural exchange between the state and foreign nations.[1]

Gale ran for re-election in 2014. In announcing his bid for a forth full term, Gale said he has focused on quality public service, transparency and integrity during his time in office.[2] John A. Gale won the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to his appointment, Gale was a lawyer in private practice.


After graduating from law school, Gale served as Legislative assistant to United States Senator Roman Hruska in Washington D.C. in 1968. He returned to Nebraska in 1970, taking on the role of Assistant United States Attorney in the state for a year. Gale then moved to North Platte in 1971 and started his own law practice, operating it for 29 years until December 2000 when he was appointed by Governor Mike Johanns to fill a vacancy created with the resignation of Scott Moore.[1]


  • Graduated from Omaha North High School (1958)
  • Bachelor's degree, Carleton College (1962) in government and international relations
  • Juris Doctorate degree, University of Chicago Law School (1965)[1]

Political career

Secretary of State of Nebraska (2000 - present)

Gale was first appointed to the position in 2000 by Governor Mike Johanns to fill a vacancy. He was elected to his first full term in 2002 and was subsequently re-elected in 2006 and 2010.[1]

Citizen-based ballot issues

In 2011, Judge Joseph Bataillon rulled against Gale's presented arguments in the case of Citizens in Charge v. Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale. The case followed a time in which a debate erupted about petitions urging people to recall Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle. Some in the debate said it was too easy to get all the signatures needed and others said it was too hard.

The Nebraska law that deals with citizen-based ballot issues ranging form recalls to referendums and Judge Bataillon ruled that people from other states can now come into Nebraska and circulate petitions.[3]

Voter ID

On October 16, 2013, Gale presented his plan for Nebraska's handling of voter fraud. His voter ID plan would target approximately 6% of the population, those who have notified the post office of an address change but have not changed their voter registration. State Senator Charlie Janssen stated that he was glad Gale was looking at options but does not think targeting the estimated 75,000 people goes far enough.
“This sounds like selective enforcement,” Janssen said. “Given my druthers, I'd rather have the 'Nebraska way' be that everyone shows their ID.”
While the Democratic leaders in Nebraska state that no problem of fraud exists, Gale says there is a potential for fraud. A dishonest person could show up at a person's previous polling place impersonating the voter that moved. Gale said that he doesn't believe it is currently happening now, but this targeted approach would stop it from becoming an issue. Currently, those voters who have moved are already flagged and present proof of their current address when voting but are not asked to provide photo ID.[4] Another group Gale is looking at is the 16,000 voters who have registered on their honor with no license or Social Security number. He would like to upgrade those registrations and use other ways to verify registrations if there is still no license or social security number available. That, along with access to the national death database for the election board to eliminate deceased voters from the voter list, would continue to reduce the possibility of voter fraud in Nebraska.[5]



See also: Nebraska secretary of state election, 2014

Gale ran for re-election as Nebraska Secretary of State in 2014.[2] The general election took place November 4, 2014.


General election
Secretary of State of Nebraska, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Gale Incumbent 75.2% 368,135
     Libertarian Ben Backus 24.8% 121,470
Total Votes 489,605
Election Results via Nebraska Secretary of State.


See also: Nebraska Secretary of State election, 2010
  • 2010 Race for Secretary of State - Republican Primary
    • John Gale ran unopposed in this contest
2010 Race for Secretary of State - General Election[6]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda John A. Gale 69.8%
     Democratic Party Janet Stewart 30.2%
Total Votes 467,995


  • 2006 Race for Secretary of State - Republican Primary
    • John Gale ran unopposed in this contest
2006 Race for Secretary of State - General Election[7]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda John A. Gale 61.3%
     Democratic Party Jay C. Stoddard 33.6%
     Green Party Doug Paterson 1.8%
Total Votes 549,860


  • 2002 Race for Secretary of State - Republican Primary
    • John Gale ran unopposed in this contest
2002 Race for Secretary of State - General Election[8]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda John A. Gale 62.1%
     Democratic Party Jay C. Stoddard 29.7%
     Independent Joseph A. Rosberg 6.2%
     Libertarian Party Tudor Lewis 2.0%
Total Votes 441,934

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Gale is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Gale raised a total of $417,707 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 23, 2013.[9]

John A. Gale's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 NE Secretary of State Not up for election $16,686
2010 NE Secretary of State Won $26,111
2008 NE Secretary of State Not up for election $20,096
2006 NE Secretary of State Won $136,350
2004 NE Secretary of State Not up for election $27,760
2002 NE Secretary of State Won $190,704
Grand Total Raised $417,707


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of John Gale's donors each year.[10] Click [show] for more information.


John Gale currently resides in North Platte, Nebraska with his wife, Carol. They have three children together - David, Elaine, and Steve.[1]

Gale has served in the other following roles:

  • State Chair, Nebraska State Republican Party (1986)
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Board Member, Cornhusker Boys State
  • Great Plains Regional Medical Center
  • Board Member, NEBRASKAland Foundation
  • Member, Sunrise Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, Sunrise Rotary Club
  • Member, United Way

Recent news

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Contact Information

Office of the Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94608
Lincoln, NE 68509-4608

Phone: (402) 471-2554
Fax: (402) 471-3237

See also

External links

Suggest a link

The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine was used to recall this version of the website from October 31, 2010.


Political offices
Preceded by
Scott Moore
Nebraska Secretary of State
Succeeded by