By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog
LINCOLN, Neb. – Yet a third conservative group has weighed in on Nebraska’s U.S. Senate race, but this time, they’ve endorsed former State Treasurer Shane Osborn for the job.
The Tea Party-affiliated FreedomWorks endorsed Osborn, saying he’s “on a mission to repeal Obamacare.” Osborn’s chief opponent, Midland University President Ben Sasse, has made his opposition to Obamacare the centerpiece of his campaign. Sasse was assistant secretary of Health and Human Services in George W. Bush’s administration.
Two other conservative groups endorsed Sasse: the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund. Those same groups endorsed State Treasurer Don Stenberg in the U.S. Senate race last year, but he finished third in the three-way primary race.
FreedomWorks PAC President Matt Kibbe said in a press statement, “The Senate does not need more smart people with generally nice sounding ideas; it needs heroes. The time for giant voices and strong principles is now.”
“Shane Osborn has proven himself to be all these things and more. Nebraska and the country will be proud of the work Shane Osborn does in the Senate,” Kibbe said.
Osborn’s campaign manager, Bill Novotny, was dismissive of Sasse’s two other endorsements, saying Nebraskans will be voting in the election, not “Washington elites that he spends most of his time with” and accusing Sasse of wanting to play “the inside game in Washington.” He said the Osborn campaign would have preferred that the Club for Growth stayed out of the Nebraska race.
When asked how those sentiments about the relevance, or irrelevance, of these endorsements squares with the FreedomWorks endorsement, Novotny released a statement from Osborn saying he’s honored to get their endorsement “because they understand that conservative action speaks louder than mere promises.”
“My record of promoting transparency, shrinking the size of government while making it more efficient and cutting a budget is more than sound bites, it’s reality,” he said. “Washington doesn’t need more folks schooled in the ways of Washington; it needs folks that can go to D.C. with new blood and new ideas and really shake the place up.”
The other Republican candidates are Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale and Omaha attorney Bart McLeay. Independent cattle rancher and restaurant entrepreneur Jim Jenkins of Callaway is also running.
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