Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen on Thursday said he is appointing former Gov. Pete Ricketts to fill the Senate seat left vacant by Republican Ben Sasse’s resignation.

Ricketts, a Republican who completed his second term as governor earlier this month, will hold the seat until a special election in 2024. The seat will then be on Nebraska’s ballot again in 2026 for a full six-year term.

Pillen and Ricketts appeared together at a joint news conference at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, where Pillen described the selection of Ricketts as “very, very obvious.”

Sasse officially resigned on Sunday to become the president of the University of Florida, a job he will begin next month.

Ricketts’ support in last year’s Republican gubernatorial primary helped Pillen emerge at the top of a packed GOP field. Pillen took office last week.

He said Ricketts was “committed to the long haul” to attempting to keep the seat.

“I don’t believe in placeholders. I believe that every day matters,” Pillen said.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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