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Inaugural ceremony, 1.10

Gov. Pete Ricketts is sworn in as first lady Susanne Shore holds his grandfather's Bible during the inauguration ceremony Thursday in the Norris Chamber at the Capitol. 

With the pomp of inaugural ceremonies casting a spotlight on the beginning of his second term, Gov. Pete Ricketts on Thursday told the Legislature he plans to remain laser-focused on efforts to grow Nebraska during the coming four years.

Ricketts said he "wants to make sure Nebraskans have great opportunities" to succeed, thrive and grow.

And that means developing "great-paying jobs," cutting regulatory red tape, being "good stewards of the taxpayer's dollar" and constraining taxes, especially property taxes, the governor said.

"I will continue to focus on growing Nebraska for the next four years," Ricketts said.

The inaugural event for a wide range of state officials unfolded during ceremonies in the legislative chamber that were formal in nature, complete with judges in robes and a military color guard, but conducted with an informal ease.

The senatorial escort committee for the governor's family brought Roscoe Ricketts, a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who starred in some of the Ricketts 2018 campaign TV ads, down the center aisle of the Legislature alone.

Roscoe, the son of Ricketts and first lady Susanne Shore, shook hands with senators along the aisle as he was led to his family seated in chairs placed in a front-row position in front of the legislators.

When the governor was escorted down the aisle a short time later, he greeted senators with outbursts of his familiar explosive laugh as they exchanged words during handshakes.

When Ricketts later left the chamber following his speech, Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue gave him a high-five.

Joe Ricketts, the governor's father and the billionaire founder of Ameritrade, stood in the front row watching as the ceremonies began to unfold before greeting his son and sitting down to listen to his brief address.

Nebraskans "work hard, work together and roll up our sleeves," the governor said. "And we will continue to grow Nebraska."

Afterward, during a brief interview as Joe Ricketts walked down a corridor on his way through the Capitol's Great Hall to the Governor's Office, the governor's father said: "I think it's great. He's done a good job; he works hard and I couldn't be more proud."

Asked about his view of President Donald Trump as the president enters the second half of his first term, Joe Ricketts said: "I'm very happy with the president; he is doing things that need to be done.

"The economy is doing well," Joe Ricketts said. "Obviously, there never has been a president that we're always completely pleased with, but we need 3 percent growth every year."

That is roughly the GDP growth rate achieved in 2018.

"That's a good growth rate," Joe Ricketts said. "I'm very happy with that."

Photos from Thursday's inaugural ceremonies

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.

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