Dave Heineman

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David Heineman
Dave Heineman official photo.jpg
Governor of Nebraska
In office
2005 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 10
Base salary$105,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 2006
Term limitsTwo consecutive terms
Prior offices
Lieutenant Governor
Bachelor'sUnited States Military Academy at West Point (1970)
Office website
David Eugene "Dave" Heineman (born May 12, 1948, in Falls City, Nebraska) is the current Republican Governor of Nebraska. He originally assumed the role when Mike Johanns was appointed United States Secretary of Agriculture in President George W. Bush's Cabinet on January 20, 2005. Heineman was officially elected to the position in November 2006 and re-elected in the 2010 midterms.


After graduating from West Point, Heineman served for five years with the United States Army, leaving with the rank of captain. He graduated from the Army Ranger training program during his years of service.


  • Bachelor's degree, United States Military Academy at West Point (1970) in economics

Political career

Governor of Nebraska (2005 - Present)

As governor, Heineman presented the Nebraska State Legislature with a middle class tax cut that "would provide more than $1 billion of tax relief over the next four years." [1] After finagling with state legislators, he signed LB 367, the largest tax relief bill in the state's history that would provide $425 million in tax relief over a two year period, on May 18, 2007. Heineman also pushed for legislation that would make the state's Department of Health and Human Services more accountable to citizens. In a state where agricultural issues are important, Heineman has made them a top priority. The governor helped to negotiate trade deals with the Republic of China and Cuba for the exportation of wheat, soybeans, and other commodities. He has also been a proponent of increased production of ethanol.

Nebraska Watchdog reported on Governor Heineman's feud with the Nebraska Democratic Party regarding Heineman's opposition to national health care and his push to get top educators in the state to fight the Obama health care plan. [2]

Judicial appointments

As governor, Heineman is responsible for appointing judges to Nebraska state courts. In Nebraska, the governor makes a judicial appointment after candidates are recommended by a judicial nominating commission. After the governor appoints a judge, she or he must run for retention in the next general election more than three years after taking office. For an up-to-date list of all of Heineman's appointees, see Judgepedia's page on his appointments.

Tax reform

In January 2013, Heineman announced he would seek to eliminate the state income tax and replace it with a sales tax. He said he believes eliminating the income tax would make the state a magnet for jobs.[3]


Budget plan

"Facing a [budget] shortfall of $334 million" caused largely by shrinking sales tax receipts, Heineman introduced a plan to help balance it. His proposal included a number of cost saving measures including "agency savings, transfers from the general fund" [4] and a 2.5% across-the-board reduction to most state agencies in the 2009 fiscal year and a 5% reduction in fiscal year 2010-2011, cuts totaling $80 million.

Heineman's budget proposal would also take another $154 million from K-12 education, Medicaid, the state prison system and the State Patrol. However, according to Heineman schools are not being cut, the planned increases will simply be frozen. Unlike neighboring Iowa's Governor Chet Culver, Heineman says his salary will not be cut. Heineman said he will oppose any attempt to increase income or sales taxes. He also said he is opposed to dipping any further into the state’s cash reserve fund.

He says $250 million of the reserve is being used to balance the current budget. “Further use of the cash reserve now will only make any future financial challenges more difficult,” said Heineman.[5]

Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska (2001 - 2005)

Heineman was appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska on October 1, 2001, after David I. Maurstad resigned in order to serve as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region VIII. He was elected to his first full term the following year.

Nebraska Treasurer (1994 - 2001)

Heineman was first elected to the office of treasurer in 1994 and won re-election to the office four years later.

Fremont City Council (1990-1994)

Heineman was first elected to serve the general public of Nebraska in 1990 as a member of the Fremont City Council. He remained there until 1994 when he successfully campaigned to be the state's treasurer.



See also: Nebraska gubernatorial election, 2010

Heineman defeated challenger Mike Meister in the 2010 gubernatorial race. His margin of victory was 49 points - the largest gubernatorial win of 2010.[6]

  • General Election - 2010 Governor Race
Governor of Nebraska, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Mike Meister 26.1% 127,343
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDave Heineman Incumbent 73.9% 360,645
Total Votes 487,988


2006 Race for Governor - Republican Primary [7]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Dave Heineman (R) 50.3%
Tom Osborne (R) 44.4%
Dave Nabity (R) 5.3%
Total votes 274,975
2006 Race for Governor - General Election [8]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Dave Heineman (R) 73.4%
David Hahn (D) 24.5%
Barry Richards (Nebraska) 1.5%
Mort Sullivan (By Petition) 0.6%
Total votes 593,357

Campaign donors

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 Dave Heineman and Rick Sheehy's donors each year.[9] Click [show] for more information.


Heineman currently resides in Freemont, Nebraska with his wife, Sally Ganem, and their son, Sam. He is a practicing Methodist.

Contact info

Office of the Governor
Post Office Box 94848
Lincoln, NE 68509-4848

Phone: 402-471-2244
Fax: 402-471-6031

See also

External links

Suggest a link


Political offices
Preceded by
Dawn E. Rockey
Nebraska Treasurer
Succeeded by
Lorelee Hunt Byrd
Preceded by
David I. Maurstad
Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska
Succeeded by
Rick Sheehy
Preceded by
Mike Johanns
Governor of Nebraska
Succeeded by