Pete Ricketts

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Pete Ricketts
Pete Ricketts.jpg
Governor of Nebraska
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Chicago
Master'sUniversity of Chicago
ProfessionFinancial executive
Campaign website
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Pete Ricketts was a Republican candidate for Governor of Nebraska in the 2014 elections. Pete Ricketts won the general election on November 4, 2014.


Ricketts was the Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Ameritrade Holding Corporation, now TD Ameritrade, until August 2005. Previously, Ricketts was the Chief Operating Officer, and oversaw Ameritrade's retail client business as well as clearing and marketing operations. Prior to being named COO, Pete served as President of Ameritrade, Inc. and Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development.[1]

Ricketts is currently a financial executive and co-owner of the Chicago Cubs. He is a founder of Drakon, LLC, an asset management company. Ricketts was a 2006 Senate nominee and former Republican national committeeman.[2]


  • Bachelor's degree, University of Chicago
  • Master's degree, University of Chicago, Marketing and finance[1]

On The Issues Vote Match

Pete Ricketts's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Ricketts is a Hard-Core Conservative. Ricketts received a score of 10 percent on social issues and 87 percent on economic issues.[3]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[4]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Favors Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Unknown
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Favors
Support & expand free trade Strongly Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Unknown Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Opposes Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Strongly Favors Never legalize marijuana Strongly Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[3]



See also: Nebraska Gubernatorial and Lieutenant Gubernatorial election, 2014

Ricketts ran for election as Governor of Nebraska. Ricketts won the Republican nomination in the primary.[5] The general election took place November 4, 2014.


Governor of Nebraska, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPete Ricketts 26.5% 57,922
Jon Bruning 25.5% 55,751
Beau McCoy 20.9% 45,804
Mike Foley 19.2% 42,029
Tom Carlson 4.1% 9,034
Bryan Slone 3.7% 8,179
Total Votes 218,719
Election Results Via:Nebraska Secretary of State.
General election
Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPete Ricketts/Mike Foley 57.6% 301,646
     Democratic Chuck Hassebrook/Jane Raybould 38.9% 203,968
     Libertarian Mark G. Elworth Jr./Scott Zimmerman 3.5% 18,454
Total Votes 524,068
Election Results via New York Times. Vote totals above are unofficial and reflect 100% precincts reporting.

Race background

Incumbent Gov. Dave Heineman was barred by term limits from seeking re-election in 2014.[6][7] Heineman intended to enthusiastically back then-Lt. Gov Rick Sheehy, with whom he shared a winning ticket in both the 2006 and 2010 elections, as his successor, until Sheehy's resignation in Feb. 2012, causing a "deeply disappointed" Heineman to withdraw his support for his former second-in-command's campaign.[8][9] Days later, campaign donors reportedly began receiving refund checks in the mail, the final death knell for Sheehy’s gubernatorial ambitions.[10]

With Sheehy, the previous front-runner, out of the running, other potential candidates emerged with renewed hope: six Republicans ran in the May primary.[11]

Resignation of Lavon Heidemann

Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann (R) announced his resignation from the lieutenant governor's office on September 9, 2014, following reports of a physical altercation with his sister, Lois Bohling. Bohling claimed that Heidemann grabbed her wrists and pushed her following a heated argument over their deceased father's estate. Heidemann and Bohling disagreed about her August 13 filing, which would have stripped him of his ability to farm two parcels of land previously owned by their father. This altercation led to a September 8 order from Johnson County District Judge Daniel Bryan prohibiting Heidemann from contacting his sister, visiting her home or visiting their mother's home. Heidemann stated that he disputed his sister's account of the discussion, but the order led to calls for his resignation by state Democratic leaders.[12]

Gov. Dave Heineman (R) announced that he would move quickly to fill the vacancy, which will be held by three different people in less than two years. Heineman selected state legislator John Nelson as Heidemann's replacement on September 29.[13] Heidemann's 2014 running mate, Pete Ricketts, selected State Auditor Mike Foley as his new ticket mate following the resignation. The Nebraska Secretary of State approved an appeal by Ricketts to replace Heidemann with Foley on the ballot on September 10. The deadline to name a lieutenant gubernatorial candidate was September 1, and state law does not allow names to be removed from the ballot after that date. The appeal was approved on the grounds that Ricketts had a constitutional obligation to select a running mate.[12][14]

Ballot lawsuit

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Mark G. Elworth Jr. filed a lawsuit against Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale on September 12 over his decision to remove Heidemann from the general election ballot. In a filing with Lancaster County District Court, Elworth cited state law that requires candidates for lieutenant governor to be decided by September 1. Gale argued that his decision to remove Heidemann from the ballot was made after weighing a gubernatorial candidate's constitutional right to designate a running mate against the statutory deadline.[15] A district court judge ruled on September 23 that Gale's decision would stand, allowing Heidemann to be replaced by Foley on the ballot.[16]


Campaign media

Pete Ricketts ad: Believe

Pete Ricketts ad: Real-World Experience for Nebraska

Pete Ricketts ad: Disrupt

Pete Ricketts ad: Carolyn

Pete Ricketts ad: Senator Johanns


October 2 debate

Chuck Hassebrook and Pete Ricketts shared barbs over past positions in a debate sponsored by Nebraska Educational Communications. Hassebrook accused Ricketts of supporting Gov. Dave Heineman's (R) tax proposal in 2013, which would have increased sales tax rates. The Platte Institute, a conservative think-tank created by Ricketts, supported the tax proposal, which ultimately failed to pass in the face of increasing public criticism. Hassebrook argued that Ricketts tried to hide his support for the measure when he decided to run for governor. Ricketts denied support for the bill, noting that he did not agree with every position taken by the institute.[18]

Ricketts countered by bringing up a report co-authored by Hassebrook in 1990 that called for a ban on exports of genetically modified crops. The issue of biotechnology in farming has grown in prominence due to the importance of Nebraska's agricultural sector. Hassebrook responded that he provided little assistance to the authors of the report, and was wrongly credited as a co-author. He also noted that he supported biotechnology research since the early 1990s, when he served on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.[18]

Debate viewers also saw Hassebrook and Ricketts stake out distinct positions on immigration and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would run through Nebraska. Hassebrook advocated for allowing driving licenses for children brought to the country illegally, while Ricketts opposed issuing licenses as a matter of protecting existing laws. Ricketts suggested that the XL Pipeline would bring jobs to the state and securely transport oil across the country, citing problems with rail transportation of oil. Hassebrook opposed the pipeline because he suggested the project would contribute to climate change.[18]

September 1 debate

Chuck Hassebrook and Pete Ricketts sparred over education policy, economics and full-time residency in Lincoln at the Nebraska State Fair. Hassebrook opposed school vouchers for public school students, suggesting that tax dollars should be used to improve public schools. Ricketts countered that a gradual voucher policy would help students while keeping money in public schools. The duo showed stark differences in economic policy, with Hassebrook supporting a minimum wage increase and Ricketts opposing an increased wage. Moderator Mike'l Severe asked both candidates if they would reside in the governor's mansion full-time if elected. Ricketts, who has three children attending school in Omaha, said that he had not made a final decision on the question. Hassebrook stated that Nebraska needs a "full-time governor" and that he would live in Lincoln because "40 hours a week is a vacation."[19]


Suggest a link

Ricketts and his family are members of St. Margaret Mary's Church.[1]

Recent news

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Pete Ricketts News Feed

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See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Platte Institute, J. Peter Ricketts, accessed September 3, 2013
  2. Journal Star, Waiting for the shoes to fall, July 21, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 On The Issues, "Pete Ricketts Vote Match," accessed June 18, 2014
  4. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  5. Nebraska Secretary of State, "Election Night Results," May 13, 2014
  6. World Herald-Bureau, "Mike Flood launches bid for governor's office in 2014," November 13, 2012
  7. World Herald-Bureau, "Mike Flood launches bid for governor's office in 2014," November 13, 2012
  8. Journal Star, "Sheehy says he will run for Nebraska governor in 2014," July 15, 2011
  9. The Wall Street Journal, “Nebraska lt. governor resigns,” February 2, 2013
  10. Omaha World-Herald, “Sheehy’s campaign returns donations,” February 6, 2013
  11. National Review Online, "Charlie Janssen to run for Nebraska governor, February 19, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1, " Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann resigns, withdraws as Pete Ricketts' running mate," September 9, 2014
  13., "Heineman chooses Omaha Sen. John Nelson as lieutenant governor," accessed September 29, 2014
  14. Kearney Hub, "Secretary of State: Mike Foley's name to appear on ballot," September 10, 2014
  15. WOWT, "Candidate Sues To Get Heidemann's Name Back On Ballot," September 13, 2014
  16. Lincoln Journal Star, "Challenge to Foley ballot change ends," September 23, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 Omaha, Pete Ricketts endorsed by 2 former Nebraska governors, October 29, 2013
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2, " In their last debate before election, Nebraska governor candidates try to build contrasts," October 2, 2014
  19., "Hassebrook-Ricketts debate: Nebraska's governor candidates display stark choice voters will face," September 2, 2014