WASHINGTON – Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, who led GOP fundraising efforts to re-elect former President Donald Trump, is stepping down as the Republican National Committee finance chair after serving in the role for almost four years.
Ricketts, a Wilmette resident, was tapped to be the RNC finance chair in January 2018 with Trump’s backing.
After Trump was elected in 2016, Ricketts accepted Trump’s nomination to be the deputy Commerce secretary. Unable to untangle his complex financial holdings to the satisfaction of the Office of Government Ethics, Ricketts withdrew his nomination and eventually accepted the party post.
Ricketts was also the chief fundraiser for Trump’s re-election campaign as the two organizations merged their 2020 efforts.
A former Trump ambassador, Richard “Duke” Buchan III, will replace Ricketts as RNC chair in January.
Ricketts said in a statement he was “proud to have served as the Finance Chair for President Trump and Vice President Pence’s re-election effort.
“I’m excited by all the Republican candidates we helped elect during my tenure as well as the investments we made and the infrastructure we developed as a party. I’m confident the RNC will continue to be an outstanding organization to serve Republicans across the country, and I look forward to continuing to help the cause.”
Ricketts announced at the last RNC finance meeting in Austin, Texas, last month he raised over $1 billion during his almost four years at the fundraising helm.
Another Cubs co-owner, Todd’s brother Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, is term-limited and cannot seek re-election in 2022.
Todd Ricketts has been mentioned as a possible 2022 contender for an Illinois statewide office. He is bowing out of his RNC role before his term is up in 2023. This may free him to consider whether he has or wants a political future in Illinois.
His close association with Trump — and an enormous fundraising base, between his wealthy family and his national contacts — would help him in an Illinois GOP primary. But being linked to Trump so directly would make it difficult to win a general election in heavily Democratic Illinois.
Before becoming Trump’s chief fundraiser, Ricketts was a never-Trumper, in 2016, leading the anti-Trump charge through the Our Principles political action committee.
Ricketts’ mom, Marlene Ricketts, whose husband Joe, is the Cubs patriarch and the T.D. Ameritrade founder, donated $3 million to the Our Principles PAC and was a major funder.