Omaha business executive Pete Ricketts will make his second run for state-wide office.
This time, Ricketts will run for governor.
Ricketts, the former CEO of Ameritrade, lost the 2006 United States Senate race to Democrat Ben Nelson. Ricketts founded Drakon, LLC, a Nebraska business helping local entrepreneurss. Ricketts serves on the TD Ameritrade Board of Directors as well as the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
The Republican tells Kevin Thomas with Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN his campaign for governor will not be the same as that campaign.
“The tone in that general election was not the tone I wanted; really driven by (Washington) D.C. consultants. So, this time around, I’ve surrounded myself with Nebraskans and we’re going to have a very different tone,” Ricketts says.
Ricketts says he will tour the state this week to officially kick off the campaign. He joins an already crowded primary that includes State Senators Charlie Janssen of Fremont, Tom Carlson of Holdrege and Beau McCoy of Omaha as well as State Auditor Mike Foley, a former state senator from Lincoln.
Two Democrats have declared their candidacy: State Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton and the former executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons, Chuck Hassebrook.
Gov. Dave Heineman must leave office after 2014 due to term limits.
Ricketts pledges a personal campaign.
“People want to know they can trust you. They want to know who you are, that you have the proper experience and they want to know about your vision for Nebraska. And that’s what the campaign is going to be about,” according to Ricketts.
Ricketts expects education to be an issue in the campaign. He says maximizing Nebraska education spending is the key.
“What can be do to make sure that kids are getting the best education possible and how do we remove those roadblocks with regard to teacher effectiveness, what can we do more? How can we hold schools accountable for outcomes? I mean those are the things I think we want to be focused on.”
Kevin Thomas, KLIN, contributed to this article.
AUDIO: KLIN’s Kevin Thomas interviews Pete Ricketts. [4:20]