The Sasse – Ricketts Game Plan?

Governor Pete Ricketts and Senator Ben Sasse are winding down the current phases of their political careers.  Gov. Ricketts’ term ends on January 5th of 2023.  Sen. Sasse has already stated an intention to resign his Senate seat to become President of the University of Florida.  

If Gov. Ricketts wants to replace Sen. Sasse in the upper house of Congress (but not appoint himself to that office),  both men should place the good of Nebraska ahead of their own plans. (This is especially important after the tawdry Ricketts role in destroying the gubernatorial candidacy of Charles W. Herbster during the recent Republican primary campaign.)

This means that Sen. Sasse should resign before the end of the year, but certainly no later than January 2nd.  Gov. Ricketts should resign immediately thereafter, thus allowing Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley to step up as Governor and make the Senate appointment of Pete Ricketts before senators from other states take office on January 3rd.

If Gov. Ricketts waits for his presumptive successor, Dr. Jim Pillen, to make the appointment, it cannot take place until January 5th, which will make the new Sen. Ricketts junior in seniority to every other member of the U.S. Senate, with potentially negative consequences for Nebraska and its citizens.

This will guarantee that Sen. Sasse’s Nebraska replacement will have seniority over the other states’ newly elected senators, all of whom will take office on January 3rd of 2023.

If Gov. Ricketts waits for his presumptive successor, Dr. Jim Pillen, to make the appointment, it cannot take place until January 5th, which will make the new Sen. Ricketts junior in seniority to every other member of the U.S. Senate, with potentially negative consequences for Nebraska and its citizens.

Some background to the situation is supplied in this Fox News Article by Tyler Olsen.


Nebraska gov spent over $1.3M boosting GOP gubernatorial candidate who may appoint him US senator

Tyler Olsen • October 12, 2022

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts this year spent more than $1.3 million in personal money to help get Jim Pillen, the GOP nominee to replace him, through a competitive primary. Now, it’s possible Pillen could appoint Ricketts as the next U.S. senator from Nebraska.

Sitting Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is set to resign his seat, likely before the end of the year. He is the lone finalist to be the next president of the University of Florida, the school announced last week. His resignation would necessitate an appointment to the Senate seat, a post that Ricketts “has long been rumored” to be eyeing, according to a Republican strategist familiar with the state.

In fact, Ricketts previously ran for Senate in 2006 but lost to then-Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he has personally urged Ricketts to seek the seat.

“We’re hoping that he will end up in the Senate. Exactly how that happens under Nebraska law is yet to be determined,” McConnell said in an interview this week with CNN. “If that were the way it worked out, I think it’d be a smooth transition.” Read the rest of the story here

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