Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is endorsing underdog Republican candidate Don Stenberg in the Nebraska Senate race, he announced on Tuesday.
Stenberg has struggled to raise any money. He had just under $22,000 in his campaign account at the end of the third quarter, and nearly $122,000 in debt. DeMint acknowledged the challenge in his statement on Tuesday.
"The one complaint I hear most about him from the DC political class is that he can't raise money. This, of course, should be expected. He's a grassroots candidate and doesn't have national fundraising connections like establishment candidates," DeMint said in an email to supporters, adding that his influential Senate Conservatives group is "launching a new 'SCF Surge' campaign to raise $100,000 for Don Stenberg over the next seven days."
Stenberg is the third Senate challenger DeMint's SCF has endorsed so far this cycle. He previously endorsed Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz.
Of the three, the endorsement of Stenberg is likely to irk national and establishment Republicans the most. In Nebraska, Attorney General Jon Bruning remains the frontrunner in the race. Following months of negative headlines and lousy fundraising, Bruning showed some signs of improvement: His fundraising was better in the third quarter, and he brought on new advisers to help right the ship.
DeMint is not the first prominent out-of-state conservative to enodrse Stenberg. The state treasurer is also backed by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and tea party group FreedomWorks.