Posted by on January 23, 2023 3:47 pm
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Kamala Harris swears Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts into Senate

FILE – Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts takes part in a panel discussion during a Republican Governors Association conference, Nov. 15, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. In one of his first acts as Nebraska’s governor, Republican Jim Pillen on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, named former governor Ricketts, who helped Pillen get elected, to the state’s vacant U.S. Senate seat. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File) Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

Kamala Harris swears Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts into Senate

Samantha-Jo Roth January 23, 03:20 PMJanuary 23, 03:35 PM Video Embed

Former Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-NE) was sworn in as Nebraska’s newest senator on Monday, filling the seat of Ben Sasse (R-NE), who resigned to become president of the University of Florida.

Gov. Jim Pillen (R-NE) appointed Ricketts, who was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris, to fill Sasse’s seat earlier this year. He will serve out the remainder of Sasse’s term and then be required to run in a special election in November 2024 to complete the final two years of Sasse’s six-year term.

NEBRASKA GOVERNOR NAMES PREDECESSOR PETE RICKETTS TO FILL SASSE’S SENATE SEAT

Ricketts, who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2006, said he is committed to running for the seat in both 2024 and 2026.

Term limits prevented the Republican, who served two terms as governor of the Cornhusker State, from seeking reelection last year. He was a top supporter of Pillen’s campaign, and his early endorsement likely helped him rise to the governor’s mansion.

Both Ricketts and Pillen have pushed back on criticism that the replacement process involved “backroom dealings.” Pillen said Ricketts beat out eight other Republican finalists who applied to replace Sasse. Sasse resigned after Pillen was sworn in, which enabled Ricketts to fill the seat without having to self-appoint himself.

Sasse resigned earlier this month after receiving an offer to become president of the University of Florida. A vocal critic of Donald Trump, he voted to convict the former president in his impeachment trial. He also played a prominent role on the Judiciary and Intelligence panels.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) praised Rickett’s “proven record” and said he’s looking forward to working closely with him “for years to come.”

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“Governor Pillen could not have found a more capable leader to take the baton from our colleague Senator Sasse and fight for the Cornhusker State,” McConnell said in a statement earlier this month. “Ricketts has a proven record. He pairs sharp business savvy with a deep commitment to public service.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines (R-MT) said he looks “forward to working with Pete to stop Joe Biden’s harmful agenda and keep Nebraska red in 2024.”

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