Dave Heineman became governor of Nebraska on January 20, 2005, when Governor Mike Johanns became the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Heineman was elected to his first full term on November 7, 2006.
As governor of Nebraska, Heineman focused on four priorities: education, economic vitality, efficiency in government and protecting families. He worked with the Nebraska Legislature to pass the largest tax relief packages in the history of the state and the most comprehensive economic incentive legislation since the 1980s. Heineman was a strong proponent of a quality education for all children, supporting high academic standards and increased parental involvement in education.
Heineman was elected lieutenant governor in 2002. As lieutenant governor, he served as Nebraska’s director of homeland security, chairman of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission and the presiding officer of the Nebraska Legislature.
He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and served five years in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of captain. He is also a graduate of the Army’s Airborne and Ranger Schools. Heineman’s wife of more than thirty years, Sally Ganem, is a former elementary school principal and teacher. Their son Sam and daughter-in-law, Jessica, live in Nebraska, as well.