By Katharine Jackson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nebraska's former Republican Governor Pete Ricketts is due to become a U.S. senator after being appointed on Thursday to fill the seat left vacant by Republican Senator Ben Sasse.
In an anticipated move, Nebraska's Republican Governor Jim Pillen announced the appointment of his predecessor at the state Capitol on Thursday morning.
Ricketts, 58, served two terms as Nebraska's governor, wrapping up his second term last week.
Twice elected to the U.S. Senate, Sasse resigned earlier in January to become president of the University of Florida. The senator was one of seven Republican senators who voted to impeach then-president Donald Trump.
Ricketts' appointment will not alter the balance of power in the Senate. He would need to win a special election in 2024 to serve the remaining two years of the current term.
(Reporting by Katharine Jackson; Editing by Andrea Ricci)