Secretary of State John Gale has decided not to run for re-election.
Gale had run for Congress before being appointed as Secretary of State in 2000. He won election two years later and three times after that. He didn’t consider running for a “higher” office.
“This was such a perfect fit for my talents and experience and background as an attorney that I just decided I was going to focus my attention on making it the best office I could,” Gales tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Gale, a Republican, will serve 18 years by the time his term ends in 2018. He is the 26th Nebraska Secretary of State.
Then-Gov. Mike Johanns appointed him to fill the vacancy left when Scott Moore resigned to take a private sector job. Gale has served as an attorney in North Platte for 29 year prior to the appointment. Gale won election to the office in 2002. He won re-election in 2006, 2010, and 2014.
Gale is 76 and will be 78 when his term ends. He says he wants to spend more time traveling with his wife as well as with his family. He also wouldn’t mind having more time to spend on his hobbies.
Several major projects are pending at the Secretary of State’s office. Gale says his decision not to run for re-election will give him time to concentrate on those without worrying about an election campaign.
Gale says Nebraska needs new election technology and he is committed to finding the right election system for the state. He also wants to update the technology within the Business Services Division, which handles paperwork for around 100,000 business entities. Expanding online services to all state governmental departments is another project Gale would like to see completed so that all Nebraskans have access to their government, no matter where they live. Finally, Gale says he is looking for the right space for the business unit which will have to vacate the Capitol during renovations of the HVAC system.
“If I’m not having to campaign or worry about campaigning, I can focus on continuing to make this the most modern, reliable, accessible, professional office possible before I finish my term,” Gales says.
Gale, as Secretary of State the chief election officer, says he’s proud of 16 years of smooth, fair, and reliable elections free of controversy.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]