ENG: David Eugene "Dave" Heineman (born May 12, 1948, in Falls City, Nebraska) is the 39th and current Governor of Nebraska. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education and career
Heineman 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 the Army Ranger training program.
Heineman served on the Fremont City Council from 1990 to 1994.
He also served two terms as the Nebraska State Treasurer from 1994 to 2001, and was appointed the 37th Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska on October 1, 2001. He was elected to his first full term as lieutenant governor in 2002. He is married to Sally Ganem, a former elementary school principal. They have one son.
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.
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. Omaha and Lincoln areas—which cast more than two-thirds of Nebraska's vote—Heineman won by large-enough margins in western and central Nebraska to secure the nomination.
While Tom Osborne carried most of the
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.
As governor, Heineman worked with the Nebraska Legislature to pass the largest tax cut in state history. He also has 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, he has made them a top priority. He also helped to negotiate trade deals with Taiwan and Cuba for the exportation of wheat, soybeans, and other commodities, and has been a proponent of increased production of ethanol.
On April 13, 2010, Heineman signed landmark abortion legislation. One of the two bills he signed, bans abortions at and after 20 weeks of pregnancy on the basis of fetal health and the other requires women to be screened before having abortions for mental health and other problems. The first bill is LB1103 - Adopt the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Both sides of the abortion debate say the laws are firsts of their kind in the nation.