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Florida Adds $300K Pool to Sasse’s Presidential Mansion

January 13, 2023

Former U.S. senator from Nebraska Ben Sasse formally resigned last week and will start as president of the University of Florida next month with a base salary of $1 million a year. But UF just threw in a deal sweetener: building a $300,000 pool at the university mansion where Sasse will live.

A UF spokesperson told The Gainesville Sun that the former Republican senator did not request the pool or provide input on its design; it was funded by donors, the spokesperson said, some of whom he did not identify to the newspaper. The newspaper reported that the average cost for an in-ground residential pool in Florida is around $60,000, and it was unclear why Sasse’s pool cost $300,000.

UF’s costs to maintain the presidential mansion’s pool are also unclear, the newspaper reported.

Sasse’s Senate replacement was appointed Thursday when Nebraska’s new Republican governor, Jim Pillen—a former University of Nebraska regent—appointed former Republican governor Pete Ricketts to the seat. Ricketts had endorsed and donated heavily to Pillen’s campaign, prompting many state political observers to predict the appointment months ago.

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Josh Moody

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