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Ameritrade COO Joins Neb. Primary

August 13, 2005

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Ameritrade executive Pete Ricketts, describing himself as anti-abortion conservative, launched an election campaign Saturday to unseat U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, the only Democrat in Nebraska’s congressional delegation.

``I grew up with great values and tremendous opportunities,″ said Ricketts, Ameritrade’s chief operating officer and son of its founder. ``I want my three kids and other’s people’s children to have the same opportunities that I had.″

Ricketts, 40, faces two other candidates in the Republican primary: former Nebraska Attorney General Don Stenberg and former state GOP chairman David Kramer.

Nelson is up for re-election to a second term next year.

``I’m a conservative Republican,″ Ricketts said Saturday. ``We need to support President Bush’s agenda. ... We have to have a culture that respects life, that respects the unborn.″

He also said that Social Security should be modernized, and that private investment accounts proposed by the Bush administration ``can be part of the solution.″

However, he said, ``I don’t think they are the only solution.″

Ricketts will leave his post at the Omaha-based online brokerage firm effective Aug. 26, but he will continue to serve as vice chairman and a member of Ameritrade’s board of directors. His father, Joe Ricketts, is the company’s founder and chairman, and the family is a big contributor to the GOP.

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On the Net:

Ricketts’s campaign: http://www.petericketts.com

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