WASHINGTON — Cubs board member Todd Ricketts is in line to be tapped to be deputy secretary in the Commerce Department, as President-elect Donald Trump, in Florida for Thanksgiving, continues to assemble his administration.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Saturday that Ricketts was headed to a top spot, likely in Commerce, after meeting with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence for almost an hour at Trump’s New Jersey golf resort.
The Commerce slot is a logical fit for Ricketts, a Wilmette businessman with a major interest in economic policy.
Ricketts, 47, runs the conservative political operations of the GOP wing of the Ricketts family, led by his parents, Marlene and Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade.
Ricketts worked in business development at Ameritrade and also held positions with Incapital, a Chicago investment firm, as well as Knight Securities in New Jersey.
Members of the Ricketts family are mega donors to Republican candidates and conservative causes. After opposing Trump in the GOP primary — and overseeing a drive to defeat him — Todd Ricketts became an Illinois Trump delegate and led a super PAC devoted to Trump’s election.
During the heat of the Republican primary season last February, Trump threatened in a Twitter post, misspelling the Ricketts name, “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!”
Ricketts’s likely spot in the Commerce Department is being reported by the Sun-Times, Bloomberg News and Politico.
On Thursday, Trump spokesman Jason Miller told the Sun-Times, “until the President-elect formally announces additions to his administration, it’s just speculation.”
Ricketts spokesman Brian Baker declined to comment on Thursday on Ricketts entering the Trump administration.
On Wednesday, before departing to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump announced his intention to nominate South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and conservative education activist Betsy DeVos, whose family are mega GOP donors, as the Education secretary.
DeVos, from Michigan, will likely spark a massive confirmation fight with teachers unions and public school advocates because of her support for charter schools.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that billionaire business executive Wilbur Ross, another mega GOP donor, will likely be Trump’s Commerce secretary choice.
Outgoing Commerce Secretary, Chicago’s Penny Pritzker, was one of President Barack Obama’s earliest backers and chaired his finance committee for his 2008 run for president.
On Saturday, when Trump was asked whether Ricketts will be in his cabinet, Trump said: “We’re going to see, we’re going to have a lot of great talent.”Tweets by @lynnsweet