Secretary of State Gale makes it official, announces re-election bid in North Platte visit - Omaha.com
Published Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 11:30 am / Updated at 6:28 pm
Secretary of State Gale makes it official, announces re-election bid in North Platte visit

Secretary of State John Gale officially announced on Tuesday his plans to run for re-election in 2014.

The former North Platte attorney announced his intentions in front of a group of supporters at Pathology Services, P.C., 500 W. Leota, in North Platte.

Gale, who practiced law in North Platte for 29 years, was appointed as secretary of state in 2000 by former Gov. Mike Johanns. He was re-elected in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

"It's been an incredibly exciting and interesting adventure," Gale said. "I hope I have succeeded sufficiently in the eyes of the public to be elected again."

He credited his success to having a good staff, as well as a having a "sound, secure, reliable" election system in the state.

"For an office of 42, we do an extraordinary job," he said.

As the chief election officer for the state, Gale oversees a team of five from his office and works with county clerks from all 93 counties. While he said his office couldn't take the credit, voter turnout has improved, rising to 70 percent in 2012.

"All of which have been smooth elections without any fraud or irregularity," he said.

Gale also said his job as an ambassador for the state when domestic and foreign diplomats visit is a part of the job that he enjoys. He said it is also important for the state's economy because Nebraska should be one of the agricultural leaders heading into the future in an increasing global market.

He said his office has helped bring 800 students from China into the University of Nebraska system, as well as 3,600 foreign students across the university system.

"We are growing in foreign student attendance," he said, "and graduate student attendance is growing."

The secretary of state's office also oversees licensing and regulations for banks, businesses and attorneys throughout the state, which he said is important for economic development and good business practices.

Gale also touted his office's youth programs, saying his goal is to reach 100,000 students in every statewide election to help teach them about the importance of voting.

"It's important to reach children any way we can to teach leadership and citizenship," he said.

Gale said he has not heard of any opposition at this time. Candidates can officially file for the election beginning in December.

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