The race for Secretary of State

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October 11th, 2010

By Perry Stoner, NET News

John Gale, R, is defending his long-held seat as Nebraska's Secretary of State (Photo courtesy State of Nebraska)

John Gale has been Nebraska’s Secretary of State for a decade, and is running for reelection. His opponent, Janet Stewart, is taking her second shot at public office.

The Secretary of State is probably most recognized as Nebraska’s Chief Election Officer, ensuring that Nebraska voter’s wishes get counted at the polling place.  Gale, a Republican, said he’s ready to hit the ground running if re-elected.

“We’re in a pattern of just continuing to find ways to focus on voter turnout opposed to the election system itself,” Gale said. “We think we have a very solid, reliable, modern accessible election system, now we just need to work on continuing to get more voters to participate.”

Janet Stewart, D, is hoping to unseat Gale (Photo courtesy Register Law Office)

Janet Stewart is an attorney in Fremont, who ran for Congress in 2004.  She said one of the ways to get more Nebraskans to participate is changing the voter registration deadline.  One of her goals is to make it closer to Election Day.

“Some people for whatever reason they miss that deadline, and then they are not able to go to the polls,” she said. “I think what we need to do is work toward advancing those deadlines and work toward same day registration.”

Stewart worked as legal counsel for a Nebraska insurance company for 26 years.  She was also in state government as Director of the Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations.  Stewart, a Democrat, said she’d like to see a different perspective in the capitol.

“There has been one political party that’s held the statewide offices and the Congressional seats for a very, very long time.” “It’s the majority party, but it’s not really representative of the entire cross-section of Nebraskans.”

Gale said Secretary of State is the perfect fit for his desire to serve the public.  He said his track record should convince Nebraska voters to re-elect him.

“ I’ve had success in that role, and as a fifth generation Nebraskan, I’m very proud of Nebraska,” Gale said. “And I’m just honored to serve the state and make it a better place to live and a better place to do business.”

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