Appointed by Governor Dave Heineman on January 24, 2005, after Heineman became Governor upon Mike Johanns' appointment as United States Secretary of Agriculture in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush.
Sheehy is a native of Hastings, Nebraska. He graduated from St. Cecilia High School and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Central Community College. In 1982, Sheehy began work as an emergency medical technician for Rural Metro Ambulance in Hastings, Nebraska. He had been a market general manager with Rural Metro for 18 years when he was appointed Lieutenant Governor.
Sheehy served on the Hastings City Council from 1994-2000, serving as council president from 1996-2000. In 2000 Sheehy, then a Democrat, was elected Mayor of Hastings, a non-partisan office. He became a Republican in August 2003, and was reelected as Mayor in 2004. He was serving in his second term as mayor when he was appointed Lieutenant Governor. He was Heineman's running mate in 2006, winning a full term as Lieutenant Governor, and was elected to a second term in 2010.
Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy's son was seriously injured from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on February 2, 2011. Omaha Police said the shooting appeared to be an accident and that his injuries were not life threatening.