Ricketts Says He Won’t Appoint Himself To Senate If Sasse Resigns, But Might Apply For It


     Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says he won’t appoint himself to succeed U-S Senator Ben Sasse if his fellow two-term Republican resigns to become president of the University of Florida, but he’s not ruling out applying to the next governor to be considered for the seat. .

      Sasse is the sole finalist for the Florida job and has strongly indicated he would resign to take it. That would lead to the appointment of a new senator to serve through 2024 with the final 2 years of Sasse’s term being on the 2024 ballot.

    Sasse and Florida have given no indication on when he would start, if hired, or when he would resign from the Senate. If it’s before Ricketts leaves office Jan 3rd under term limits, Ricketts could name the successor. If he steps down after that, the new governor would make the pick.

       Ricketts said Friday he learned of the situation on Thursday when Sasse called to notify him. He also said that if he chooses to pursue the appointment, he’ll leave it to the next governor and follow the application process like any other candidate.

     Ricketts called serving as governor of Nebraska “the honor of a lifetime,” and that holding “the greatest job in the world” will remain his #1 focus for the remainder of his term. 

     On Thursday, Ricketts had said that he appreciated Sasse’s service to the state and the nation and that the former Midland University president would “make an excellent President for the University of Florida.”

     Ricketts said the nation’s universities need more conservative voices in leadership positions and that Sasse has one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate.

      He called Sasse “incredibly smart (with) the experience and a clear passion for higher education.”

     Sasse says he and his wife have been “pursued by wonderful institutions the past two years, but resisted being a finalist, “adding that “this time is different because Florida is different,” and calling it “the most interesting university in America right now.”