Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts is entering the race for next year’s Republican nomination for governor.
Ricketts is the latest Republican in the race to succeed Gov. Dave Heineman, who will be forced out after next year by term limits. The Omaha businessman says his campaign will center on education, jobs, and strengthening rural communities. And he says his business experience is a reason why voters should pick him. “I have been an executive. I was the chief operating officer at TD Ameritrade, that helped create a couple thousand Nebraska jobs. And I’ve managed budgets and organizations,” Ricketts said.” I’ve had to prioritize spending to make sure we did exactly what we needed to do to fulfill the mission of the company and that’s the same sort mentality I’ll bring to the state to make sure we’re prioritizing things that are most important that the state has to do.”
It is Ricketts’ second run at statewide office. He ran against then-U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson in 2006, spending more than $12 million of his own money in that unsuccessful campaign. Ricketts says this time will be different.
“ One of the things I’m going to do differently from last time is I’m going to do a lot more listening this time around. I’ve got ideas, but so do a lot of other people and they’re good ideas. So I want to take that input in and incorporate it into the policy platforms we come up with,” he said.
Ricketts joins an increasingly crowded GOP field that includes State Sens. Charlie Janssen of Fremont and Tom Carlson of Holdrege, along with State Auditor Mike Foley. State Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha is scheduled to announce his candidacy Tuesday.