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Mike Foley

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Mike Foley
Mike Foley.jpg
Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska
In office
January 8, 2015 - present
Term ends
January 2019
Years in position 0
PredecessorJohn Nelson (R)
Base salary$75,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 6, 2018
Campaign $$112,823
Term limitsTwo terms
Prior offices
Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts
2007 - 2015
Nebraska State Senator
Bachelor'sState University of New York at Brockport (1976)
Master'sMichigan State University (1978)
Date of birthApril 5, 1954
Place of birthRochester, New York
Office website
Mike Foley (b. April 5, 1954, in Rochester, New York) is the 41st and current Republican Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska.[1] Foley has served in this position since January 8, 2015, following his election in 2014.

Foley began the 2014 election cycle as a candidate for Governor of Nebraska, but he was defeated in the May 13 Republican primary by future running mate Pete Ricketts.[2] .[3] Pete Ricketts selected Foley as his lieutenant governor on September 9, 2014, the same day that then-Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann resigned from office.[4] Mike Foley won the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to winning election as lieutenant governor, Foley served two terms as Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, another one of Nebraska's state executive offices. He was first elected state auditor in 2006, and in 2010 he was re-elected by a landslide.[5][6]

Foley is a former member of the Nebraska Unicameral State Legislature. He represented the state Senate's 29th District in Lincoln from 2000 to 2007, when he became the state auditor.

Before entering politics, Foley worked as a corporate planning analyst with the Nebraska Public Power District, the director of financial analysis of the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners, and a consultant with Kirschner Associates.[5]


Foley is a native of Rochester, N.Y. Before assuming public office in 2000, Foley worked as a corporate planning analyst with the Nebraska Public Power District, the director of financial analysis of the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners and a consultant with Kirschner Associates.[5]

Foley holds a bachelor's degree from the University of New York at Brockport and a Master's of Business Administration from Michigan State University.


  • B.S., State University of New York at Brockport (1976)
  • MBA, Michigan State University (1978)

Political career

Nebraska Lieutenant Governor (2015 - present)

Foley was elected in 2014 and took office on January 8, 2015, succeeding September 2014 appointee John Nelson (R).

Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts (2007 - 2015)

Foley was first elected to this position in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.[5]

Nebraska State Senator (2000 - 2007)

Foley represented District 29 in Lincoln for six years. As a member of the state legislature, Foley served on the Judiciary Committee and Transportation and Telecommunications Committee.[5]



See also: Nebraska Gubernatorial and Lieutenant Gubernatorial election, 2014 and United States Congress elections, 2014'

Foley initially ran for election to the office of Governor of Nebraska in 2014. He lost the Republican nomination in the primary on May 13, 2014.[3]

Foley was selected by Republican gubernatorial nominee Pete Ricketts as his running mate following the resignation of former Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann on September 9, 2014. Incumbent Governor Dave Heineman was unable to run for re-election due to term limits.[2] The general election were held on November 4, 2014.

On February 22, 2013, Foley told the Nebraska Radio Network that he was considering bids for four different offices in 2014: governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and a third term in his current post as Nebraska Auditor.[7]


Governor of Nebraska, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPete Ricketts 26.6% 58,671
Jon Bruning 25.5% 56,324
Beau McCoy 20.9% 46,196
Mike Foley 19.2% 42,394
Tom Carlson 4.1% 9,080
Bryan Slone 3.7% 8,265
Total Votes 220,930
Election Results via Nebraska Secretary of State.
General election
Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPete Ricketts/Mike Foley 57.2% 308,751
     Democratic Chuck Hassebrook/Jane Raybould 39.3% 211,905
     Libertarian Mark G. Elworth Jr./Scott Zimmerman 3.5% 19,001
Total Votes 539,657
Election Results via Nebraska Secretary of State.

Race background

Incumbent Gov. Dave Heineman was barred by term limits from seeking re-election in 2014.[8][9] Heineman intended to enthusiastically back then-Lt. Gov Rick Sheehy, with whom he shared a winning ticket in both the 2006 and 2010 elections, as his successor, until Sheehy's resignation in Feb. 2012, causing a "deeply disappointed" Heineman to withdraw his support for his former second-in-command's campaign.[10][11] Days later, campaign donors reportedly began receiving refund checks in the mail, the final death knell for Sheehy’s gubernatorial ambitions.[12]

With Sheehy, the previous front-runner, out of the running, other potential candidates emerged with renewed hope: six Republicans ran in the May primary.[13]

Resignation of Lavon Heidemann

Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann (R) 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.[14]

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.[15] 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. 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.[14][16]

Ballot lawsuit

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Mark G. Elworth Jr. filed a lawsuit against Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale on September 12 over his decision to remove Heidemann from the general election ballot. In a filing with Lancaster County District Court, Elworth cited state law that requires candidates for lieutenant governor to be decided by September 1. Gale argued that his decision to remove Heidemann from the ballot was made after weighing a gubernatorial candidate's constitutional right to designate a running mate against the statutory deadline.[17] A district court judge ruled on September 23 that Gale's decision would stand, allowing Heidemann to be replaced by Foley on the ballot.[18]


Foley won re-election as state auditor in the November 2010 election, defeating Libertarian Michele Sallach-Grace.[6]

Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Mike Foley (R) 345,436
Michele Sallach-Grace (L) 88,433

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Foley is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Foley raised a total of $112,823 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 23, 2013.[19]

Mike Foley's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Nebraska Auditor Not up for election $50
2010 Nebraska Auditor Won $-4,250
2008 Nebraska Auditor Not up for election $-520
2006 NE Auditor/NE State Senate Won $43,261
2004 NE State Senate Won $28,330
2000 NE State Senate Won $45,952
Grand Total Raised $112,823
In 2006, Foley raised $43,261 for the auditor's race, which he won, and $0 for his Senate seat, which was not up for re-election.


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 Mike Foley's donors each year.[20] Click [show] for more information.


Foley and his wife, Susan, have six children and belong to St. Peter's Catholic Church.[5]

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Contact information

Office of the Lt. Governor
State Capitol, Room 2315
P.O. Box 94863
Lincoln NE 68509

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, "Homepage," accessed January 8, 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nebraska Radio Network, State Auditor Mike Foley announces candidacy for governor, September 5, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nebraska Secretary of State, "Election Night Results," May 13, 2014
  4. WOWT, "Update: Ricketts Names Mike Foley As New Running Mate," September 9, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Nebraska State Auditor, "Biography," accessed February 2, 2012
  6. 6.0 6.1 Nebraska Secretary of State, "November 2010 General Election Results," accessed May 18, 2011
  7. Nebraska Radio Network, "Auditor Foley could run for Governor or Senate or Congress or… (AUDIO)," February 22, 2013
  8. World Herald-Bureau, "Mike Flood launches bid for governor's office in 2014," November 13, 2012
  9. World Herald-Bureau, "Mike Flood launches bid for governor's office in 2014," November 13, 2012
  10. Journal Star, "Sheehy says he will run for Nebraska governor in 2014," July 15, 2011
  11. The Wall Street Journal, “Nebraska lt. governor resigns,” February 2, 2013
  12. Omaha World-Herald, “Sheehy’s campaign returns donations,” February 6, 2013
  13. National Review Online, "Charlie Janssen to run for Nebraska governor, February 19, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1, " Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann resigns, withdraws as Pete Ricketts' running mate," September 9, 2014
  15., "Heineman chooses Omaha Sen. John Nelson as lieutenant governor," accessed September 29, 2014
  16. Kearney Hub, "Secretary of State: Mike Foley's name to appear on ballot," September 10, 2014
  17. WOWT, "Candidate Sues To Get Heidemann's Name Back On Ballot," September 13, 2014
  18. Lincoln Journal Star, "Challenge to Foley ballot change ends," September 23, 2014
  19. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Mike Foley," accessed May 23, 2013
  20. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
John Nelson (R)
Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska
2015 - present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Kate Witek (R)
Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts
2007 – 2015
Succeeded by
Charlie Janssen (R)