Gov. Ricketts issues statement about replacing Sasse in U.S. Senate

The governor said he wouldn’t appoint himself as Senator of Nebraska.
Governor Ricketts addresses the speculation on the upcoming U.S. Senate vacancy.
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 3:51 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2022 at 4:00 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Gov. Pete Ricketts responded to speculation Friday on what might happen if U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse were to give up his seat and take the job as president at the University of Florida.

“The first I learned about Senator Sasse’s plan to resign from the United States Senate was yesterday, when he called to notify me,” Ricketts said.

Sasse’s replacement would be appointed by the governor of Nebraska. Gov. Ricketts, who’s been silent about his future plans after his term ends this year, made mention of pursuing the Senate seat, but said he wouldn’t appoint himself.

“If I choose to pursue the appointment, I will leave the appointment decision to the next governor and will follow the process established for all interested candidates. It is the honor of a lifetime to serve as the governor of Nebraska. It is the greatest job in the world, and it will remain my number one focus for the remainder of my term.”

According to the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office, “Within 45 days of a vacancy arising, the Governor would appoint a qualified Nebraskan to fill the vacancy. That person would serve until January 2025. An election would be held in 2024 to fill the seat for the remaining two years of the term. The person appointed by the Governor to fill the seat would be eligible to run at that time.”

After learning about the University of Florida’s intention Thursday to install Sen. Sasse as president of the university, Gov. Ricketts thanked the senator for his service.

“I appreciate Senator Sasse’s service to our state and nation,” Ricketts said in his statement Thursday. “He would make an excellent President for the University of Florida. He has one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate, and we need more conservative voices in our universities. Senator Sasse is also incredibly smart and has the experience and a clear passion for higher education. I wish him luck as the University of Florida makes their consideration.”