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Nebraska Secretary of State set to retire after 18 years

Nebraska Secretary of State set to retire after 18 years (NTV News)
Nebraska Secretary of State set to retire after 18 years (NTV News)
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As the Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale gets set to retire after 18 years, he looks back at his time in office.

As a fifth generation Nebraskan, John Gale was destined for big things, especially coming into office in 2000 during the Bush-Gore election.

"I came in as secretary of state in a moment of high drama and high national controversy over whether elections in America were conducted fairly and accurately," said Gale.

Gale said his first term was the hardest, as the state made a 100 year upgrade to election equipment.

It transitioned from a county century election system to a statewide system.

"That process. The public bidding process on several major contracts over 18 years probably has been the most challenging piece of work," said Gale.

However, the transition to new equipment is what he says has been the most significant during his time.

Gale says there were good experiences and favorite moments but youth programs were at the top of his list.

"We can't survive as a democracy if each new generation isn't trained, motivated and inspired to be a good citizen and not only vote but run for office and be engaged in their communities," said Gale.

He credits some of his achievements to having excellent staff and coworkers.

Governor Pete Ricketts said Nebraskans were lucky to have him for 18 years.

"He has just done an outstanding job of being secretary of state and representing Nebraska. To foreign delegation, to come here making sure we have safe and fair elections, really protecting the voter integrity. I really want to congratulate John for a successful career and thank him for all of his public service," said Governor Ricketts.

You may wonder what Gale has planned after he retires, he says traveling.

"We're not planning to go to Europe or China. We're going to spend our time in Nebraska going back to the towns that we love. We'll enjoy their towns, restaurants and coffee shops. Many have little art galleries that display the local art of the people in the area and we will love that," said Gale.

Before he leaves, he has a bit of advice for his successor.

He says to live by the oath of office, live by the rule of law and to motivate himself with hard work and integrity.

"Trust your staff, work hard to motivate them, provide solid leadership, be engaged in all parts of your work. Be passionate about everything you're doing. Don't pick one thing over others because they are all important to the service you perform and follow the rule of law," said Gale.

Gale will complete his final day in the position on Jan. 9, 2019.

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Governor Pete Ricketts has name that specific date as John Gale Day in the state of Nebraska.

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