2023-01-12 – Former Republican Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska was appointed Thursday as the state’s next Senator. This appointment comes as Ricketts is set to replace Ben Sasse, current Senator, as he is set to resign later this week to become the University of Florida’s next president. The state’s current Governor Jim Pillen appointed Ricketts. Ricketts will remain in office representing Nebraskans until the state holds a special election in 2024 to fill the seat for the remainder of Mr. Sasse’s term, which would have ended in 2026.

Who is Pete Ricketts?

Pete Ricketts served two terms as governor from 2015 until this month when now Governor Pillen took office. His family, the Ricketts have been in the Nebraska political realm for quite a while. Pete Ricketts’ father Joe Ricketts was the founder and former chief executive of the financial services company TD Ameritrade and has been a major donor to Republican candidates and causes across the country. Pete himself has even donated to the Republican cause as he spent $1.3 million in last year’s Republican primary in Nebraska for then Gubernatorial candidate Pillen.

How did Ricketts come to get the appointment?

Ricketts was also highly expected to seek the Senate seat after Sen. Sasse announced last year he would be stepping down. Just three weeks after a gathering of Republican governors met in Florida, which Ricketts attended and downplayed the role, he filed an application seeking the appointment. Gov. Pillen had said he had collected applications from Nebraskans interested in the spot though there was never much doubt Ricketts would get the job if he decided he wanted it.

What now?

Once Sasse leaves the Senatorship and heads to Florida, Ricketts will take over. Though if Ricketts wants to stay in Senate he will have to run in the special election in 2024 and claim the seat as his rightful own. To which he would then need to defend six years later.


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