Gunnin’ for governor

Foley sticks to his guns, officially files papers for gubernatorial campaign

Norma Volkmer, News Editor

“I’m putting it all on the line. In football terms, I’m going for the two-point conversion because Nebraska needs to win,” Mike Foley, state auditor and candidate for governor, said last Wednesday in a press conference.

Foley officially filed for governor last week, ahead of yesterday’s deadline, fully committing to his campaign for governor.

Nebraska’s gubernatorial race has seen Republican candidates come-and-go over the last year, and Bruning became the latest contender when he entered the fray Saturday, Feb. 8.

Many consider Bruning to be the frontrunner as the May primary comes closer, and there was speculation that Foley may drop out to run for re-election as state auditor, a position he has held since 2007, when he resigned from his state senate seat.

But just who is Mike Foley?

He received his M.B.A. from Michigan State University and worked as the director of financial analysis for 18 years at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners in Washington, D.C. before moving to Lincoln.

In 2000, he was elected to the Nebraska Unicameral for the 29th District. He resigned from that seat in 2007 to serve as state auditor.

Name recognition is key to any campaign, and it’s clear that Foley has not only that but also the experience in government needed. In 2010, he was reelected as state auditor with 80 percent of the statewide vote, which bodes well for his current campaign.

His years in the Unicameral and as auditor cement his experience in government, leaving no doubt for Nebraska voters that he knows what he is doing.

With financial problems, tax code changes and energy costs at the forefront of Nebraska’s issues, Foley’s financial know-how and work with the Regulatory Utility Commissioners are his biggest advantage.

However, he is trailing in campaign funds. With the introduction of Bruning,Foley dropped to fourth in regards to funds, having raised roughly $335,000. To really compete with the likes of Pete Ricketts and Bruning, Foley is going to need to kick his fundraising into gear, and quickly.

Money is often the most important factor in state races today, and without it, Foley may prove just a blip. But he has the weight of experiences and statewide recognition, and if Nebraska’s intergovernmental financial issues, such as the recent $22 million owed to the federal government, continue to pop up, Foley is a definite contender.

And now that he’s all in, don’t rule him out.

(Quote courtesy of the Omaha World Herald.)