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Congressional Spotlight: Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE)

Each month The Nonprofit Alliance (TNPA) introduces you to a member of Congress who is a leader on legislative matters important to our TNPA community, with representation from both parties.

Headshot of Senator Pete Ricketts.

Q&A with Senator Pete Ricketts

TNPA has worked closely with Senator Pete Ricketts of Nebraska. TNPA had the opportunity to ask the Senator a few questions, and share them here:

What is your favorite sports team?

Chicago Cubs, but my Huskers are a close second.

Which American political figure has most inspired you?

Ronald Reagan.

What was the moment you realized you were serious about getting into public service?

I was asked by Senator Chuck Hagel to consider running for Senate, and after a period of discernment and prayer, decided that was what I was supposed to do.

Describe your life in six words.


More About Senator Ricketts

TNPA has worked closely with Senator Pete Ricketts of Nebraska.

Senator Ricketts was born in Nebraska and raised in Omaha. He went on to study at the University of Chicago where he received his bachelor’s degree in biology and an M.B.A. in marketing and finance. After graduate school he returned to Omaha first working for Union Pacific and then began working in his family’s business, a company that would eventually become known as Ameritrade. He held a number of positions in the company before ultimately being named President and Chief Operating Officer. Pete also founded Drakon, LLC which supports Nebraska entrepreneurs and startup companies. He also is a past member of the Board of Directors of TD Ameritrade and of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

Pete’s journey in public service began with his election as Nebraska’s 40th Governor in 2014. As governor, he dramatically improved services to Nebraskans and worked with the state’s Legislature to provide tax relief. This included property tax relief and eliminating state taxes on veterans’ retirement benefits in 2022 and on Social Security benefits starting in 2025. Pete also expanded international markets for Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers.

After completing two terms as governor, Pete was appointed U.S. Senator by Governor Jim Pillen to fill the unexpired term of Senator Ben Sasse. Senator Sasse went on to become president of the University of Florida. Pete was sworn in as a U.S. Senator in January 2023. In the Senate he serves on three committees: Environment and Public Works, Foreign Relations, and the Special Committee on Aging. We at The Nonprofit Profit Alliance know the Senator best for his cosponsorship of S. 566, The Charitable Act. This bipartisan legislation of Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE) would provide a tax deduction for all taxpayers – regardless of their level of income – when making a charitable contribution. With only 9% of taxpayers itemizing their taxes and thus eligible to claim a deduction when supporting a charity, the other 91% of taxpayers receive no tax benefit when supporting charitable causes. Already 20 Senators – 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans – have signed on to the Lankford/Coons bill and having Senator Ricketts on to this legislation is a real plus.

TNPA looks forward to continuing to work closely with Senator Pete Ricketts of Nebraska.

Mark Micali
Author: Mark Micali

Mark Micali is Vice President, Government Affairs for The Nonprofit Alliance and has spent his career on Capitol Hill.  You can reach him at

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