A Republican from Lincoln eclipsed a Democrat from Omaha in the race to become the next Nebraska secretary of state.

Bob Evnen, 65, defeated Spencer Danner, 40, on Tuesday. He'll succeed John Gale, who is stepping down from the position after serving 18 years.

Evnen is a veteran of Nebraska GOP politics and a close ally of Gov. Pete Ricketts. Evnen served eight years on the State Board of Education and led a successful campaign to retain the state's death penalty after the Legislature voted to abolish it in 2015. 

Evnen had a large funding advantage over Danner, a first-time candidate who works as a business consultant and had served two years on the staff of Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert. Danner was also the first African-American candidate nominated for statewide office in Nebraska since 1990.

The Secretary of State’s Office supervises elections, business registration, occupational licenses and records management. The secretary of state also serves on the three-member Board of Pardons.