Dave Heineman

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David Heineman
Dave Heineman official photo.jpg
Governor of Nebraska
In office
January 20, 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 of Nebraska
Nebraska Treasurer
Bachelor'sUnited States Military Academy at West Point (1970)
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
Date of birthMay 12, 1948
Place of birthFalls City, Nebraska
Office website
Personal website
Campaign 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. He is term limited from running for a third term as governor in the 2014 elections.


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 in economics - United States Military Academy at West Point (1970)

Political career

Governor of Nebraska (2005 - Present)

Heineman originally assumed the governorship upon Mike Johanns' appointment as United States Secretary of Agriculture in January 20, 2005. He was officially elected to the position in November 2006 and re-elected in the 2010 midterms.


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.[1]

Tax cut

In Dec. 2006, Heineman presented the Nebraska State Legislature with a middle class tax cut which promised $1 billion of tax relief over the subsequent four years.[2] After finagling with state legislators, he signed LB 367, the largest tax relief bill in the state's history. The bill provided $425 million in tax relief over a two year period. 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.

The Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")

Nebraska Watchdog reported on Heineman's feud with the Nebraska Democratic Party regarding his opposition to national health care and his push to get top educators in the state to fight the Obama health care plan. [3]

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.


Lieutenant Governor resignation

Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy resigned on February 2, 2013 amid revelations he had abused his state-issued cell phone privileges over the course of four years. As governor, Heineman was authorized to appoint an interim lieutenant governor to serve out the remaining two years of Sheehy’s term. Heineman appointed Lavon Heidemann (R) to fill the vacancy. Heidemann was sworn in on February 13, 2013.[4] He will serve in this role until a successor can be elected in 2014.[5]

Budget plan

In Nov. 2009, while Nebraska faced "a [budget] shortfall of $334 million" caused largely by shrinking sales tax receipts, Heineman introduced a plan to help balance it that included a number of cost saving measures such as "agency savings, transfers from the general fund" [6] 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. School budgets would not be cut, the planned increases would simply be frozen, Heineman assured. Unlike neighboring Iowa's Governor Chet Culver, Heineman's proposal did not include a personal salary cut. Heineman said he would oppose any attempt to increase income or sales taxes and expressed his opposition to dipping any further into the state’s cash reserve fund.[7]

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 and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014

Heineman is barred by term limits from seeking re-election in 2014.

He had intended to enthusiastically back former Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy, with whom he shared a winning ticket in both the 2006 and 2010 elections, as his successor until Sheehy abruptly resigned from office in Feb. 2013. His stemmed from an Omaha World-Herald expose that showed had made roughly 2,300 phone calls, many late at night, to women other than his wife over the past four years on his state-issued mobile phone.[8] "I had trusted him and that trust was broken," Gov. Dave Heinman explained at a Feb. 2 press conference where he made the shocking announcement.[9][10] Sheehy announced his candidacy for governor back in July 2011, and [11] had been considered the front-runner until the scandal broke, causing a "deeply disappointed" Heineman to withdraw his support for Sheehy's gubernatorial campaign, which shut down soon thereafter.[12][13][14]


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.[15]

  • 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 [16]
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 [17]
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.[18] 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


  1. Wall Street Journal, "The State Tax Reformers," January 29, 2013
  2. Fremont Tribune "Heineman outlines his tax cuts proposals" 29 Dec. 2006
  3. Nebraska Watchdog
  4. Omaha.com, "Choice of Heidemann for lieutenant governor called 'great pick'," February 14, 2013
  5. The World Herald-Bureau, "Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy issues resignation," February 2, 2013
  6. Journal Star "Gov. Dave Heineman: Budget proposal is about reducing spending" 2 Nov. 2009
  7. Governor Lays Out Budget Cuts; His Salary Safe, Nebraska Watchdog, November 2, 2009
  8. The Wall Street Journal, "Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Resigns," February 2, 2013
  9. World Herald-Bureau, "Mike Flood launches bid for governor's office in 2014," November 13, 2012
  10. World Herald-Bureau, "Mike Flood launches bid for governor's office in 2014," November 13, 2012
  11. Journal Star, "Sheehy says he will run for Nebraska governor in 2014," July 15, 2011
  12. ‘’The Wall Street Journal,’’ “Nebraska lt. governor resigns,” February 2, 2013
  13. ‘’Omaha World-Herald,’’ “Sheehy’s campaign returns donations,” February 6, 2013
  14. ‘’Omaha World-Herald,’’ “Sheehy’s campaign returns donations,” February 6, 2013
  15. Nebraska Secretary of State, "Official Report of the State Board of Canvassers of the State of Nebraska", accessed December 21, 2010
  16. Nebraska Secretary of State - 2006 Republican Primary Election Results
  17. Nebraska Secretary of State - 2006 General Election Results
  18. Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015

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