Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts to seek U.S. Senate appointment

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Tuesday morning that he would be seeking to fill the seat doon to be left vacant by Sen. Ben Sasse.

Ricketts said he will be turning in his application for consideration by Gov.-elect Jim Pillen, according to a press release.

“This decision is the result of many hours of prayer and family discussions,” Ricketts said. “For me, it came down to a single question: How can I best serve the people of Nebraska and advance our conservative values? In Congress, we’re in a fight for the future of our nation, and it’s a fight we have to win. We must cut taxes, strengthen public safety and our national security, and protect our most sacred freedoms.”

Sasse announced in October that he would be seek the position of president at the University of Florida and was approved by the school’s board of governors on Nov. 9.

SEE ALSO: Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse hands in resignation letter to Gov. Pete Ricketts

After that announcement, Ricketts said he would not appoint himself as the state’s next U.S. senator.

On Tuesday, he said he was waiting until Pillen laid out the process for filling the vacancy.

During Pillen’s run for governor, Ricketts endorsed him and spent over a million dollars helping to fund his campaign.

Ricketts said despite this, he’s going to be applying to be appointed the same as anyone else.

“I was not, you know, planning on taking this seat so early, before Senator Sasse announced in October he was gonna be resigning at some point,” he said. “Some people think this is a done deal, since Gov.-elect Pillen and I have been friends for 20 years. But again, I’m gonna be an applicant like anybody else. I’m gonna apply, and we’ll go through Gov.-elect Pillen’s process.”

Ricketts has served as Nebraska’s governor since being elected in 2014 and said he’s shown the world the impact conservative leadership can have.

“I want to continue delivering results for our state, fighting to reduce taxes, grow our economy, defend our liberties, and run government more like a business,” he said in a press release. “I’ll never stop working to get the job done, and that’s why I’m asking for Governor-elect Pillen’s consideration.”

Sasse began his second term as senator after being reelected in 2020 and on Monday submitted his resignation, saying he will officially step down at noon on Jan. 8.

His governor-appointed successor will then serve at least the next two years.

In 2024, voters will determine who will fill out the remainder of Sasse’s term.

The seat will again be on the ballot in 2026, this time for a full six-year term.

Applicants looking to fill the seat need to submit materials by Dec. 23 to the office of the Gov.-elect at or mail them to the Nebraska State Capitol Room 1315, 1445 K St., Lincoln, NE 68508.

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