Ricketts Joins Crowded Field for Governor


Pete Ricketts is in, joining a crowded Republican field for governor.

Ricketts announced his run for governor not with a campaign rally but in a YouTube video emphasizing his "simple beginnings" and business skills, with testimonials from friends and colleagues.

The Omaha businessman ran for U.S. Senate in 2006, losing to Sen. Ben Nelson in what was the most expensive campaign in Nebraska history. Ricketts is the former Chief Operator Officer of Ameritrade, and his family owns the Chicago Cubs.

Ricketts emphasized job growth and education, especially in rural Nebraska in his introduction video.

He's the fifth Republican in the race to replace Gov. Dave Heineman. Heineman will end up serving ten years, which is longer than any governor in Nebraska history.

But his departure means the field is wide open.

State Auditor Mike Foley announced his candidacy this past week, campaigning as a government watchdog who is outspoken in his opposition to abortion.

Three state senators are in the race. Sen. Charlie Janssen is an outspoken supporter of gun rights, and a frequent critic of Pres. Obama. Janssen calls for tougher immigration laws and protection of gun rights.

Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha has pushed for tax reform during his time in the legislature.

Holdrege Sen. Tom Carlson has worked on agriculture and natural resource issues among others, serving as chairman of both those committees during his legislative tenure.

Two Democrats with rural ties are also on the campaign trail. Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton farms with her husband, while Chuck Hassebrook is former head of the Center for Rural Affairs.