FreedomWorks dumps Shane Osborn and climbs aboard the Ben Sasse train in Nebraska

Ban Sasse’s campaign for the open senate seat in Nebraska received a big boost on March 13 when Governor Palin endorsed his candidacy in the GOP primary. Sasse received another boost late Friday when FreedomWorks pulled their endorsement fromthe GOP Establishment’s candidate, Shane Osborn, and joined Governor Palin, Senator Mike Lee, and others on the Ben Sasse train.  Via Politico:

In an unusual move, FreedomWorks PAC announced Friday that it is switching sides in a contested Nebraska Republican Senate primary.

The conservative group rescinded its endorsement of Shane Osborn and backed Ben Sasse, his main rival.

FreedomWorks is trying to get in line with other prominent conservatives, including the Club for Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sarah Palin. Earlier Friday, SCF announced a $280,000 television ad buy to boost Sasse over two weeks.Sasse, 42, has been the president of Midland University, a small Lutheran school in Fremont, Neb., since Dec. 2010. He was an assistant secretary in George W. Bush’s Health and Human Services administration.

Osborn, 39, a former state treasurer and Navy pilot, is seen as the GOP establishment’s first choice, largely due to his better name recognition.

“Both Osborn and Sasse are great people, and this was not a decision taken lightly,” FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe said in a statement. “The question at the heart of this decision is, who would caucus with the Freedom Caucus, and who would fall in line with the establishment? At this point, it is clear that Shane Osborn formed allegiances with Mitch McConnell and the K Street lobbying class.”

This belated support from FreedomWorks is, of course, welcome.  Had they done their homework a tad earlier, they could have avoided the embarrassing step of pulling their support from a candidate they previously endorsed and would have been on board with Ben Sasse from the beginning. It was clear early on that Osborn, while not another Arlen Specter, was the choice of the Republican Establishment and their K Street masters. The winner of the Republican primary will almost certainly win the general election as the Democrat Party is not expected to seriously contest this seat. With the consolidation of conservative support behind his candidacy, Ben Sasse is looking more and more like the next Senator from Nebraska. You can support his campaign here.



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