Lavon Heidemann

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Lavon Heidemann
Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska
Former officeholder
In office
February 13, 2013 – September 9, 2014
PredecessorRick Sheehy (R)
Base salary$75,000
Elections and appointments
AppointedFebruary 13, 2013
Appointed byGov. Dave Heineman (R)
Campaign $$244,381
Term limitsTwo consecutive terms
Prior offices
Nebraska State Senate District 1
2005 - 2013
High schoolElk Creek High School (1977)
OtherBowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership (2006)
Date of birthOctober 24, 1958
Place of birthPawnee City, Nebraska
ProfessionForeman, dairy farmer
Lavon Heidemann (b. October 24, 1958, in Pawnee, Nebraska) is a former Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska. He was appointed by Gov. Dave Heineman (R) on February 13, 2013, to fill the office left vacant by former Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy's resignation.[1] Upon announcing his decision to appoint Heidemann to serve out the remainder of Sheehy's unexpired term as lt. governor, Gov. Heineman said "This is a man I respect. I know him very, very well. I knew I could count on him to give me the best advice on a wide variety of issues."[1]

On September 9, 2014, Heidemann resigned from office and withdrew from the 2014 election. The resignation came in the wake of a protection order issued to Heidemann's sister, who accused him of physical abuse during an argument.[2] For his full statement and more information on this story, click here.

Heidemann is a former member of the Nebraska Unicameral, representing District 1 from 2005 to 2013. He served as Executive Board nonvoting member ex officio. During his tenure as a legislator, he carved out a reputation for being able to provide solid leadership under pressure as head of the budget-writing Appropriations Committee. Heidemann was unable to run for re-election due to term limits. After leaving office, he remained in public service as a member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

Before entering politics in 1996 as a member of the Elk Creek Board of Education, Heidemann had accumulated nearly two decades of professional experience as a foreman and dairy farmer.[3]

Heidemann's appointment was set to end on January 1, 2015. Per the terms of his appointment, he was not allowed to seek election to the governor's seat in 2014,[4] which will be opened because Heineman has reached his term limit.


Heidemann is a farmer from Pawnee City in Pawnee County, Nebraska.

Heidemann earned his diploma from Elk Creek High School in 1977 and attended the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership in 2006.

Prior to his election to the Nebraska Legislature, Heidemann was a member of the Elk Creek School Board. Formerly, he worked as a drilling foreman in Alaska.[5]

Heidemann was a drilling foreman for Longyear Drilling Corporation from 1978 to 1982 and a general foreman for Christensen Boyles Corporation from 1982 to 1995. Heidemann also has professional experience as a dairy farmer.

Heidemann is currently involved with a number of organizations, including the Fire District Board, Midwest Council of State Governments, Elk Creek Young Men's Club, Agriculture Builders of Nebraska, Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership, Fire district board, Nebraska Boundary Commission, Nebraska Cattlemen, Pawnee County Farm Bureau, Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, and the Southeast Nebraska Feeders and Breeders.


  • Elk Creek High School (1977)
  • Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership (2006)

Political career

Nebraska Lieutenant Governor (2013-2014)

Heidemann served as Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska from February 13, 2013 until his resignation on September 9, 2014. He was appointed to fill the vacancy left when Rick Sheehy resigned.[6]


Heidemann announced his resignation from the lieutenant governor's office on September 9, 2014, following reports of a physical altercation with his sister, Lois Bohling. Bohling claimed that Heidemann grabbed her wrists and pushed her following a heated argument over their deceased father's estate. Heidemann and Bohling disagreed about her August 13 filing, which would have stripped him of his ability to farm two parcels of land previously owned by their father. This altercation led to a September 8 order from Johnson County District Judge Daniel Bryan prohibiting Heidemann from contacting his sister, visiting her home or visiting their mother's home. Heidemann stated that he disputed his sister's account of the discussion, but the order led to calls for his resignation by state Democratic leaders.[2]

Gov. Dave Heineman (R) announced that he would move quickly to fill the vacancy, which will be held by three different people in less than two years. Heineman selected state legislator John Nelson as Heidemann's replacement on September 29.[7] Heidemann's 2014 running mate, Pete Ricketts, selected State Auditor Mike Foley as his new ticket mate following the resignation. The Nebraska Secretary of State approved an appeal by Ricketts to replace Heidemann with Foley on the ballot on September 10, 2014. The deadline to name a lieutenant gubernatorial candidate was September 1, and state law does not allow names to be removed from the ballot after that date. The appeal was approved on the grounds that Ricketts had a constitutional obligation to select a running mate.[2][8]

Heidemann made the following statement regarding his resignation:

It has been overwhelming and humbling, all at the same time, to receive so much support and encouragement from people all across this state. It is the people who have worked with me, who know me best, and know my character that realize statements that have made about me are not who I am.

This has been a difficult situation, and after much thought, discussion and prayer, I have decided that for the good of my family, for the Office of Lt. Governor, and for the future of Nebraska, I am resigning today from the Office of Lt. Governor, as well as withdrawing as running mate for Pete Ricketts.

For the past 10 years, it has been an honor serving my constituents and the citizens of Nebraska. I am proud of what we have accomplished and grateful for the opportunity to serve Nebraskans.

I love this state and I am forever thankful for the people of this state who have faithfully supported me. I wish you well.

[9], (2014) [2]

Trade mission

Heidemann led the push for exports of Nebraskan products to Asia. On September 6, 2013, during his overseas trip consisting of meetings with several different Asian companies, Heidemann secured an agreement from Taiwan for the purchase of up to $472 million of grain over the next two years. This agreement is similar to two previous arrangements between Taiwan and Nebraska over the last 6 years.[10]

Nebraska State Senate (2005-2013)

Heidemann represented District 1 in the Nebraska State Senate from 2005 until 2013. He was unable to run for re-election due to term limits.

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Heidemann served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Heidemann served on these committees:


On September 21, 2011, Senator Deb Fischer announced that Heidemann was one of thirteen State Senators in the Nebraska Unicameral to endorse her candidacy for the U.S. Senate.[11]



See also: Nebraska Gubernatorial and Lieutenant Gubernatorial election, 2014

When he was appointed as lieutenant governor in 2013, Heidemann agreed to the stipulation that he would not seek election as governor in 2014.[12] In July 2013, Heidemann was mentioned as a possible candidate for governor, but he reiterated he would not run as it would violate the promise he made upon taking office.[13][14] In his resignation announcement, Heidemann also withdrew as the running mate for Republican gubernatorial nominee Pete Ricketts.[15]


Heidemann was appointed as lieutenant Governor of Nebraska by Gov. Dave Heineman on February 13, 2013. Gov. Heineman stated, "This is a man I respect. I know him very, very well. I knew I could count on him to give me the best advice on a wide variety of issues."[1]


See also: Nebraska State Senate elections, 2008

On November 4, 2008, Heidemann won re-election to the 1st District Seat in the Nebraska Senate, defeating Jerry Joy.[16]

Nebraska State Senate, District 1 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Lavon Heidemann 9,303
Jerry Joy 5,838

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Heidemann is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Heidemann raised a total of $244,381 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 23, 2013.[17]

Lavon Heidemann's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 NE Board of Regents Won $90,532
2010 NE State Senate Not up for election $27,413
2008 NE State Senate Won $83,961
2006 NE State Senate Not up for election $10,104
2004 NE State Senate Won $32,371
Grand Total Raised $244,381


In 2008, Heidemann collected $83,916 in donations.[18]

His five largest contributors in 2008 were:

Donor Amount
Lavon Heidemann $3,000
Nebraska Bankers Association $3,000
Nebraska Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors $2,500
Nebraska Chamber Of Commerce and Industry $2,035
Nebraska Realtors Association $2,000


Lavon Heidemann was born in Pawnee City, Nebraska on October 24, 1958 and raised in Elk Creek, Nebraska. Heidemann and his wife, Robin Heidemann, have three children.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fremont Tribune, "Heidemann appointed lieutenant governor," January 13, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3, " Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann resigns, withdraws as Pete Ricketts' running mate," September 9, 2014
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bio
  4., "Choice of Heidemann for lieutenant governor called 'great pick'," February 14, 2013
  5. Unicameral Update, "Heidemann’s path to Legislature paved with gold," January 26, 2008
  6., "Choice of Heidemann for lieutenant governor called 'great pick'," February 14, 2013
  7., "Heineman chooses Omaha Sen. John Nelson as lieutenant governor," accessed September 29, 2014
  8. Kearney Hub, "Secretary of State: Mike Foley's name to appear on ballot," September 10, 2014
  9. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10., Trade mission yields new deal with Taiwan for Nebraska grain, September 6, 2013
  11., "Sen. Deb Fischer Announces Endorsements from 13 Neb. State Senators," accessed May 13, 2014
  12., "Choice of Heidemann for lieutenant governor called 'great pick'," February 14, 2013
  13. Nebraska Watchdog, "Lt. governor says he won’t be running for governor," July 22, 2013
  14. Lincoln Journal Star, "Don Walton: Flood won't re-enter governor's race," July 7, 2013
  15. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named omaha
  16. Nebraska Secretary of State, "2008 General Election Results," accessed April 10, 2014
  17. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Lavon Heidemann," accessed May 23, 2013
  18. Follow the Money, "2008 contributions to Lavon Heidemann," accessed November 18, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Rick Sheehy (R)
Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska
Succeeded by
John Nelson
Preceded by
Floyd P. Vrtiska
Nebraska State Senate District 1
Succeeded by
Dan Watermeier