John Peter "Pete" Ricketts is the former Chief Operating Officer of Ameritrade . He was the Republican nominee for the 2006 U.S. Senate race in Nebraska which he lost to incumbent Ben Nelson.
Ricketts was born in Nebraska City, Nebraska, and now lives in Omaha . He attended the University of Chicago for both his bachelor and graduate studies, and received an MBA in marketing and finance from the University's Graduate School of Business .
Ricketts and his wife Susanne have three children, Margot, Roscoe, and Eleanor. Ricketts' father is J. Joseph Ricketts, founder of Ameritrade .
2006 campaign for the U.S. Senate
Ricketts was the 2006 Republican
nominee for the U.S. Senate seat held and retained by Democrat Ben Nelson
. His opponents in the primary were former Nebraska Attorney General Don Stenberg
and former state Republican chairman David Kramer. Ricketts spent nearly $5 million of his own money out-of-pocket
, outspending his opponents 10-1 in winning the nomination
Ricketts was running on a conservative platform, emphasizing fiscal responsibility , immigration reform
, and agriculture
, as well as championing a socially conservative platform opposing gay marriage and abortion. In all, he contributed $11,302,078 million of his own money to his campaign, triggering the Millionaire's Amendment which allows his opponent to raise larger amounts from each donor.
He spent more money than any Senate candidate in Nebraska history .