Dave Heineman

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Dave Heineman
Dave Heineman official photo.jpg
39th Governor of Nebraska
Assumed office
January 20, 2005
Lieutenant Rick Sheehy
Lavon Heidemann
John Nelson
Preceded by Mike Johanns
Succeeded by Pete Ricketts (elect)
37th Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska
In office
October 1, 2001 – January 20, 2005
Governor Mike Johanns
Preceded by David Maurstad
Succeeded by Rick Sheehy
Treasurer of Nebraska
In office
January 2, 1995 – October 1, 2001
Governor Ben Nelson
Mike Johanns
Preceded by Dawn Rockey
Succeeded by Lorelee Hunt Byrd
Personal details
Born David Eugene Heineman
(1948-05-12) May 12, 1948 (age 66)
Falls City, Nebraska, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sally Ganem
Residence Governor's Mansion
Alma mater United States Military Academy
Religion Methodism
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Heineman (left) with Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt (center), and predecessor Mike Johanns (right) in 2006.

David Eugene "Dave" Heineman (born May 12, 1948) is an American politician who has been the 39th Governor of Nebraska since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party. He was elected to full four-year terms in 2006 and 2010. At the end of his second full term, Heineman will become the longest-serving governor in Nebraska history with 10 years of service.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Heineman was born in Falls City, Nebraska, the son of Irene (née Larkin) and Jean T. Heineman, a stock manager for J. C. Penney.[1] He lived in a variety of places in eastern Nebraska during his youth, eventually attending high school in Wahoo, Nebraska. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1970. He served five years in the U.S. Army, leaving with the rank of captain. He also graduated from the Army Ranger training program.[2]

Heineman served on the Fremont City Council from 1990 to 1994. He also served two terms as the Nebraska State Treasurer from 1995 to 2001. He was appointed the 37th Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska by Governor Mike Johanns on October 1, 2001 after David Maurstad resigned to take a post in the George W. Bush administration. He was elected to his first full term as lieutenant governor in 2002 as Johanns' running mate.

Heineman is married to Sally Ganem, a former elementary school principal. They have one son.[3]

Governor of Nebraska[edit]

Heineman became Governor on January 20, 2005, following Mike Johanns' resignation to become United States Secretary of Agriculture in President George W. Bush's Cabinet. On April 11, 2005, he announced that he would be seeking election to a full four-year term. He had the backing of Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, although he faced a difficult challenge in the Republican primary from former Nebraska Cornhuskers football coach and U.S. Representative Tom Osborne. He took 49 percent of the more than 197,000 votes cast, and Osborne 45 percent.[4]

In retrospect, the Lincoln Journal Star's analysis of the 2006 gubernatorial race attributed Heineman's win to his opposition to Class I rural school reorganization and the granting of resident college tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants, helping him win over rural voters. This proved critical in the primary. While Osborne carried most of the Omaha and Lincoln areas, which cast more than two-thirds of Nebraska's vote, Heineman won by sufficient margins in western and central Nebraska to secure the nomination.[5]

Heineman defeated Democratic nominee David Hahn in the November 7, 2006, general election, capturing 73.4 percent of the vote—one of the most lopsided victories for a gubernatorial race in Nebraska history. He was reelected with 73.9 percent of the vote in 2010 over Democratic nominee Mike Meister, carrying every county in the state.

According to his website, Heineman worked with the Nebraska Legislature to pass the "largest tax relief package in Nebraska history". The website describes him as a "leader for Nebraska’s agricultural industry", stating that he secured trade deals for the export of wheat, soybeans, and other commodities.[6]

In 2010, Heineman signed two bills restricting abortion. One of these banned abortions at and after 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on the claim that fetuses of that age can feel pain; the other required that women seeking abortions be screened for mental-health problems.[7]

In March 2014, together with Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, Heineman brought Nebraska into a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster against California's egg production standards; in a press release, Heineman stated "This is about protecting Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers from the potential for regulatory burdens that hamper interstate trade."[8] In October 2014, federal judge Kimberly Mueller dismissed the lawsuit, rejecting the states' challenge to Proposition 2, California's prohibition on the sale of eggs laid by caged hens kept in conditions more restrictive than those approved by California voters in a 2008 ballot initiative. [9][10][11][12] Heineman had previously squared off against the Humane Society of the U.S., a champion of Proposition 2.[13]

In April 2014, Heineman signed a bill striking the word "firearms" from the list of those items a governor may suspend during a state of emergency.[14]

In June 2011, Heineman became the first sitting governor to endorse Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.[15]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Dawn Rockey
Treasurer of Nebraska
Succeeded by
Lorelee Hunt Byrd
Preceded by
David Maurstad
Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska
Succeeded by
Rick Sheehy
Preceded by
Mike Johanns
Governor of Nebraska
Succeeded by
Pete Ricketts
Preceded by
Christine Gregoire
Chairperson of National Governors Association
Succeeded by
Jack Markell
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Joe Biden
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Nebraska
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise John Boehner
as Speaker of the House of Representatives
Preceded by
Brian Sandoval
as Governor of Nevada
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Nebraska
Succeeded by
John Hickenlooper
as Governor of Colorado