Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts on Friday put his support behind Trump while appearing at a rally with him
Ricketts' parents gave at least $5.5 million in combined donations to an anti-Trump super PAC
Some of the Ricketts family in Nebraska spent millions to defeat Donald Trump. Now the most high profile Ricketts is endorsing him.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts on Friday put his support behind the presumptive Republican presidential nominee while appearing at a rally with him in Omaha, Nebraska.
“Politics is run by the people that show up … By showing up today, you have demonstrated you want to chart a new course for our country,” Ricketts told the crowd in his introductory remarks for Trump. He urged them to “get behind our nominee” to prevent likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton from winning the White House.
Upon taking the stage, Trump called Ricketts a “great governor.”
This endorsement occurs just days after Trump became the last man standing in the Republican field for the nomination, and ahead of the state’s Republican primary next Tuesday.
Ricketts’ support comes despite his family’s active participation in an anti-Trump super PAC.
Ricketts’ parents, Joe and Marlene Ricketts, gave at least $5.5 million in combined donations to the anti-Trump super PAC, Our Principles PAC, in 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records. Joe Ricketts, aside from being the Nebraska governor’s father, is also a founder of TD Ameritrade, where he also served as CEO. He also owns the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field.
“I love Pete, but I think his brother (Todd Ricketts) doesn’t like me as much as he does,” Trump said in Omaha. “I like him so much, I’m starting to like the Chicago Cubs again.”
The family’s donations didn’t go unnoticed by Trump – in February, the real estate mogul tweeted about the family.
“I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $’s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!” Trump tweeted on February 22.
No other family members plan to endorse Trump, a source familiar with the family told CNN. Our Principles PAC is staying open and continues to oppose Trump.
The elder Ricketts aren’t the only Nebraskans who have taken issue with Trump. Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse has been vocal about his disapproval of the presumed nominee, particularly this week.
But one Trump backer said he thinks the presumptive nominee will win over voters.
“Ultimately, it’s a choice election,” former Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman told CNN Friday. “It’s Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.”
Heineman, who endorsed Mitt Romney four years ago and is a longtime admirer of the Bush family, endorsed Trump this week. He said he is nervous that Trump will misspeak or be less-than-presidential, but believes the advantages outweigh the risks.
“If he stays focused on the economy, jobs, rebuilding the military and immigration, he’s in sync with Americans. Not just Republicans, but Americans,” Heineman said.
“I think his message appeals,” Heineman continued, adding, “Tone and tenor of what he says occasionally could be a little softer.”
CNN’s Robert Yoon, Tal Kopan, Eli Watkins and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.