OMAHA, Nebraska — Since the release of the Ben Sasse news, there have been.
It is almost guaranteed to be a Republican with Governor Pete Ricketts in charge of the selection process.
The names of state senators Brett Lindstrom, Lou Ann Linehan, and Tom Brewer have been mentioned on 3 News Now. In addition, Congressman Don Bacon, who is presently campaigning for his fourth term in the House.
There are also older politicians with much experience, such as the former governor Kay Orr and the former mayor and congressman of Omaha, Hal Daub.
But every politician, political operative, and analyst with whom 3 News Now spoke on Friday repeatedly mentioned Pete Ricketts as the individual who could make the appointment.
“There are a few political landmines here, correct?” asked Richard Witmer, professor of political science at Creighton University.
Witmer feels the most likely scenario is that Ricketts will let the next governor, largely expected to be Jim Pillen, to make the selection. Ricketts would then be selected by Pillen.
“If Pillen picks someone other than Ricketts, that would be the biggest surprise I can think of,” I believe.
Others, such as Rod Edwards, who works for Charles Herbster, believe it is a fait conclusion that Ricketts will receive the position, citing Ricketts’ endorsement of Pillen and campaigning for him in the primary election.
Edwards stated, “A Governor Pillen would honestly owe his governorship to Governor Ricketts.”
Ricketts would have access to alternatives that are less divisive. One of them is electing a candidate who swears not to run again in 2024. This individual could be Orr, Linehan, or Daub.
Ricketts might then run for the 2024 open seat.
However, former U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, who also occupied Ricketts’ seat as governor of Nebraska, believes people may see through this.
“”That would appear to be a sweetheart bargain, so I believe it poses a significant difficulty for the governor,” said Nelson.
There were also rumors that Ricketts might grant himself the position. Friday, the governor crushed this notion.
“Ricketts stated that if he pursues the position, he will defer to the next governor’s appointment choice and follow the process provided for all interested candidates.
Dave Plond, chairman of the Hall County Republican Party, stated that central Nebraskans would welcome a “Senator Pete Ricketts.”
“I do not believe that many Hall County residents would be disappointed. The most important thing they want is a strong Republican,” added Plond.
Sasse is anticipated to leave sometime in December; the governor, whoever is in office at the time, would have 45 days to select a successor.