Governor of Nebraska

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Nebraska Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-13 FY Budget:  $1,652,727
Term limits:  Two consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Nebraska Constitution, Article IV, Section I
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Pete Ricketts.jpg
Name:  Pete Ricketts
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 8, 2015
Compensation:  $105,000
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Nebraska Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of EducationAgriculture DirectorInsurance DirectorNatural Resources DirectorLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Governor of the State of Nebraska is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the executive branch and the highest state office in Nebraska. The governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms with at least one term intervening before the same individual may seek the office again.[1]
See also: Nebraska State Senate

Current officer

The 43rd and current governor is Pete Ricketts (R). He was first elected in 2014.[2]


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Article IV, the Executive Department.

Under Article IV, Section I:

The executive officers of the state shall be the Governor...

Additionally, under Article IV, Section 6:

The supreme executive power shall be vested in the Governor, who shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed and the affairs of the state efficiently and economically administered.'


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

Candidates for governor must be:

  • at least 30 years old
  • a resident of the state of Nebraska for at least five years
  • a citizen of the United States

While serving, the governor is ineligible for any other state office.


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article IV, Section 16.

If the governorship becomes vacant for any reason, the lieutenant governor and then the Speaker of the Legislature shall succeed. The governor may also devolve powers to the lieutenant governor when the former is absent or temporarily unable to discharge the office.

If a governor-elect is unable to take the office or is disqualified before being inaugurated, the lieutenant governor-elect is inaugurated in his place and serves the full term.



The governor is the commander-in-chief of the state military forces in the state of Nebraska. The governor is the chief budget officer and must present the state legislature with a complete budget for all expenditures used in running the state’s regular business.

The governor is the chairperson of the Board of State Canvassers and the Board of Pardons. The governor is a member of the State Records Board, Nebraska Capitol Commission, Education Commission of the States, State Board of Health, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission, Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice and other groups as provided by law.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Giving information by message to the Legislature
  • Giving accounts of all money received and spent
  • Appointing certain officers as required by the constitution and statutes and filling vacancies in state offices * Signing or vetoing bills passed by the Legislature
  • Calling elections to fill vacancies for members of the U.S. Congress
  • Certifying notaries
  • Issuing requisitions for the return of accused persons to Nebraska and other states and countries
  • Enforcing criminal laws
  • Convening special sessions of the legislature
  • Using the "Great Seal of the State of Nebraska"


Nebraska state government organizational chart

Nebraska elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years.[3] For Nebraska, 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030 and 2034 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Thursday in the January following an election.

In the event of a tie, the legislature shall choose the winner from two highest vote-getters.



See also: Nebraska gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014
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.


On November 2, 2010, Dave Heineman won re-election to the office of Governor of Nebraska. He defeated Mike Meister in the general election.

Governor of Nebraska, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDave Heineman Incumbent 73.9% 360,645
     Democratic Mike Meister 26.1% 127,343
Total Votes 487,988
Election Results Via: Nebraska office of the Secretary of State


On November 7, 2006, Dave Heineman won election to the office of Governor of Nebraska. He defeated David Hahn, Barry Richards, and Mort Sullivan in the general election.

Governor of Nebraska, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDave Heineman 73.7% 430,578
     Democratic David Hahn 24.1% 141,091
     Nebraska Barry Richards 1.5% 8,953
     Democratic Mort Sullivan 0.6% 3,782
Total Votes 584,404
Election Results Via: Nebraska office of the Secretary of State


On November 5, 2002, Mike Johanns won re-election to the office of Governor of Nebraska. He defeated Stormy Dean and Paul Rosberg in the general election.

Governor of Nebraska, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike Johanns Incumbent 68.4% 325,453
     Democratic Stormy Dean 27.8% 132,348
     Nebraska Paul Rosberg 3.8% 18,294
Total Votes 476,095
Election Results Via: Nebraska office of the Secretary of State

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Nebraska governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait four years before being eligible to run again.

Nebraska Constitution, Article IV-1

The Governor shall be ineligible to the office of Governor for four years next after the expiration of two consecutive terms for which he or she was elected.

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of Nebraska governors from 1992-2013.
Governor of Nebraska Partisanship.PNG


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Governor of Nebraska has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

State budget

Role in state budget

See also: Nebraska state budget and finances

The state operates on a biennial budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[4][5]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in July.
  2. Agency requests are submitted to the governor in September.
  3. Agency hearings and public hearings are held in January and February.
  4. On or before January 15, the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the Nebraska State Senate.
  5. The Senate adopts a budget in May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.

Nebraska is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[5]

The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget. In turn, the legislature is statutorily required to adopt a balanced budget.[5]

Governor's office budget

The budget for the governor's office in Fiscal Year 2012-13 was $1,652,727.[6]


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of elected executive officials are set by the Nebraska State Legislature as mandated by the state constitution. Article IV, Section 25 states the following:

The officers provided for in this article shall receive such salaries as may be provided by law. Such officers, or such other officers as may be provided for by law, shall not receive for their own use any fees, costs, or interest upon public money in their hands.


In 2014, the governor earned a salary of $105,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2013, the governor earned a salary of $105,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[8]


In 2012, the governor was paid an estimated $105,000 according to the Council of State Governments.


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Nebraska
Partisan breakdown of the Nebraska governorship from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, in Nebraska there were Democratic governors in office for the first seven years while there were Republican governors in office for the last 15 years.

Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Nebraska, the Nebraska State Senate and the Nebraska House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of Nebraska state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Nebraska state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Because Nebraska has a nonpartisan legislature, the state did not have any government trifectas during the years studied. From 1992-1998 it had a Democratic governor and from 1999-2013 it had a Republican governor. Nebraska finished high in SQLI rankings, finishing in the top-10 during both Democratic and Republican governorships. It dipped out of the top-10 from 1999-2004, but returned in 2005. Its highest ranking, finishing 2nd, occurred from 2011-2012.

Chart displaying the partisanship of the Nebraska government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

Historical officeholders

There were 10 Governors of Nebraska Territory from 1854-1867.[9]

There have been 43 Governors of the state of Nebraska since 1867. Of the 43 state governors, 27 were Republican, 14 were Democrat and two were Democrat/Populist.[9]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Nebraska Governor."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Governor of Nebraska - Google News Feed

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Contact information

Lincoln Office/State Capitol
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 94848
Lincoln, NE 68509-4848

Western Office
Office of the Governor
4500 Avenue I
P.O. Box 1500
Scottsbluff, NE 69363-1500

See also

External links

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