Jim Pillen is the brand new governor of Nebraska. In the past, he was a star member of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. He played under iconic head coach (and future U.S. Representative and gubernatorial candidate) Tom Osborne. Afterward, he became a veterinarian.

One of the first things Pillen would be tasked with as governor was making a separate appointment. More specifically, appointing a new member of the United States Senate. His choice is somewhat familiar to Nebraska voters. As well as at least some sports fans.

Ricketts was selected for the U.S. Senate seat

Jim Pillen has chosen Pete Ricketts for Nebraska's newly-vacated seat in the U.S. Senate, reports Politico. The slot opened due to the incumbent Republican Senator Ben Sasse opting to step away. Ricketts is a well-established figure in Nebraska politics. As indicated by the Associated Press, he was Pillen's immediate successor as the state's governor.

Ricketts is expected to be officially sworn into the Senate later this month. He is a native of Nebraska City in the state's eastern region. Ricketts would graduate from Westside High School in Omaha, followed by the University of Chicago. His father, Joe, was the founder and CEO of what is now the stockbroking Gargantua TD Ameritrade.

One of Joe's other sons, Thomas, helped create the financial services firm Incapital.

Pete Ricketts and all of his siblings would become active in various interests. But the most famous is likely their acquisition of the Major League Baseball team Chicago Cubs. After their purchase, the team won the World Series in 2016.

Ricketts worked for Union Pacific and Ameritrade before making his first venture into elected politics.

In 2006, he was the Republican nominee in that year's U.S. Senate election in Nebraska. But he would lose to Democratic incumbent and former Governor Ben Nelson by a significant margin.

In 2014, incumbent Republican Governor Dave Heineman was term-limited from seeking office again consecutively. Ricketts won the Republican gubernatorial nomination and handily won the general election.

He was easily re-elected in 2018.

The same term limits that held back Heineman would also apply to Ricketts. Pillen earned the Republican gubernatorial nomination, followed by winning in a landslide in the general election.

Sasse resigned to become the president of the University of Florida

Now-former U.S. Senator Ben Sasse is slated to become the University of Florida's president next month. Previously, he presided over Midland University, located in Fremont, Nebraska. Other jobs he held included serving in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush.

Sasse was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014. Incumbent Mike Johanns was not running for re-election. Among other things, Johanns had been U.S.

agriculture secretary in the Bush administration and governor of Nebraska. Sasse was re-elected in 2020. He would become known as one of the most vehement critics of President Donald Trump in the Republican party.