Midland University President Ben Sasse, a favorite of conservative outside groups, won the Republican Senate primary in Nebraska Tuesday night, paving his way to the Senate and giving his allies a much-sought victory.
Sasse, the front-runner going into Tuesday night, earned 45 percent of the GOP vote with 12 percent of precincts reporting when the Associated Press called the race, less than an hour after the polls closed. Sasse fended off a last-minute surge from bank president Sid Dinsdale, who had 25 percent as the race was called. Former Nebraska state Treasurer Shane Osborn, the onetime favorite, took 23 percent.
Once considered a dark-horse candidate among the GOP’s choices to replace retiring Sen. Mike Johanns, Sasse picked up endorsements from more than a dozen outside groups including the Club for Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Madison Project. In a rare move, another group, FreedomWorks, rescinded its endorsement of Osborn and instead gave it to Sasse, citing Osborn’s perceived closeness with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
In a TV interview Tuesday, Sasse said he would vote for McConnell to lead the party in the Senate.
Many of the same groups backing Sasse have also lent their support to other conservative outsiders, such as businessman Matt Bevin in Kentucky and physician Greg Brannon in North Carolina, but as their prospects fizzled out (Brannon lost his primary last week and Bevin is way behind in recent polling), Sasse became their best hope to snare a Senate seat this election year.
Those groups accounted for nearly $2.5 million of the $3 million in outside spending that flowed into the state before the primary, which helped tip the balance of TV advertising in Sasse’s favor toward the end of the campaign.
Sasse will take on the Democratic nominee, attorney David Domina, in a November race that’s expected to stay in the Republican column.
What We're Following See More »
Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.
An estimated $15.6 billion, "according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report."
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) “is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and … the Justice Department” for potentially improper contributions to his 2013 campaign, including while he was a Clinton Global Initiative board member. ... Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from” former Chinese legislator Wang Wenliang. “U.S. election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to … elections. … But Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status.”
"Donald Trump is reviving some of the ugliest political chapters of the 1990s with escalating personal attacks on Bill Clinton's character, part of a concerted effort to smother Hillary Clinton 's campaign message with the weight of decades of controversy. Trump's latest shot came Monday when he released an incendiary Instagram video that includes the voices of two women who accused the former president of sexual assault, underscoring the presumptive Republican nominee's willingness to go far beyond political norms in his critique of his likely Democratic rival. ...In one recent interview, Trump said another topic of potential concern is the suicide of former White House aide Vincent Foster, which remains the focus of intense and far-fetched conspiracy theories on the Internet."
"The head of security for the Transportation Security Administration, Kelly Hoggan, has been removed from his position after a hearing about the agency's management, the House Oversight Committee says." Deputy assistant administrator Darby LaJoye will take over for Hoggan on a temporary basis.