Updated Dec 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Nebraska Gov. Ricketts to seek Senate seat held by Sasse

Pete Ricketts, governor of Nebraska, speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and governors.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks during a meeting with President Trump and governors in the State Dining Room of the White House on June 18, 2020. Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) confirmed Tuesday that he will seek the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who is resigning to lead the University of Florida.

Driving the news: "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," Ricketts said in a statement, per KETV.

  • "We must cut taxes, strengthen public safety and our national security, and protect our most sacred freedoms," he said.

The big picture: Sasse on Monday submitted a resignation letter and said that he will leave his Senate post on Jan. 8, per the Nebraska Examiner.

  • Last month, the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida confirmed Sasse's appointment as the University of Florida's next president, and will start in the role in February, per the Tampa Bay Times.
  • Gov.-elect Jim Pillen will appoint Sasse's replacement, who will serve in the Senate until Jan. 2025, per KETV.
  • Candidates seeking appointment to the vacant seat have until Dec. 23 to apply, Pillen said Monday.

Context: Ricketts, who has reached his term limit as governor, endorsed Pillen to be his successor and spent more than $1.3 million in the race to help him, Fox News reported.

  • Joe Ricketts, the governor's father, also spent $150,000 in the race, Fox reported. Joe Ricketts is a billionaire who founded TD Ameritrade, and the family owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
  • Pete Ricketts has said that he supports a total ban on abortion, per CNN.

Go deeper: Nebraska Republicans lack votes to amend state's abortion laws

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details about Ricketts and his family.

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