Ben Sasse

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Ben Sasse
Ben Sasse.jpg
Candidate for
U.S. Senate, Nebraska
Elections and appointments
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Master'sSt. Johns & Yale
Place of birthPlainview, Nebraska
ProfessionPresident of Midland University
Campaign website
Ben Sasse is a 2014 Republican candidate seeking election to the U.S. Senate from Nebraska. Sasse won the Republican nomination in the primary on May 13, 2014.


Sasse is the current president of Midland University. However, three days after he won the Republican primary in May 2014, he announced that he would resign from the university's presidency at the end of the year.[1] Sasse previously served in President George W. Bush's administration, from December 2007 until Obama's inauguration in January 2009. Sasse worked as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services. He focused on healthcare and entitlement program initiatives in particular.[2]

Sasse attended Harvard University, Oxford University, St. John's University and earned his Ph.D. from Yale University.[3]


  • February 2010-Present: President, Midland University
  • January 2009 - December 2009: Assistant professor, University of Texas at Austin
  • December 2007 - January 2009: Assistant secretary, Health and Human Services
  • December 2006 - December 2007: Counselor to the secretary, Health and Human Services
  • September 2005 - December 2006: Assistant professor, University of Texas at Austin
  • July 2005 - September 2005: Contractor, Department of Homeland Security
  • January 2005 - July 2005: Chief of staff, U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry
  • January 2004 - January 2005: Chief of staff, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy[4][5][6][7]



Sasse's opponent in the 2014 primary, Shane Osborn, began circulating articles written by Sasse about The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, informally known as "Obamacare." According to Osborn, these articles showed that Sasse is sympathetic to the health care bill. Sasse, however, maintained that he has always opposed Obamacare. Sasse defended the articles by stating, "I was describing, as a strategic consultant, where we were at in the health care debate. That's different from me being able to advocate."[8]



See also: United States Senate elections in Nebraska, 2014

Sasse is running in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Nebraska. Sasse won the Republican nomination in the primary on May 13, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.[2]

U.S. Senate, Nebraska Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBen Sasse 49.4% 109,829
Sid Dinsdale 22.4% 49,829
Shane Osborn 21.1% 46,850
Bart McLeay 5.7% 12,702
Clifton Johnson 1.5% 3,286
Total Votes 222,496
Source: Results via Associated Press Vote totals above are unofficial and will be updated once official totals are made available.

Sasse spent a reported $8,500 to buy airtime during the Bowl Championship Series game between Auburn University and Florida State University. The game aired on January 6, 2014.[9]


Osborn criticizes Sasse for remarks on Obamacare

Senate Conservatives Fund ad supporting Sasse

Freedom Pioneers Action Network ad attacking Sasse
  • Sasse's primary opponent, Shane Osborn, released a campaign ad on April 28, 2014, attacking Sasse for purportedly supporting Obamacare.[10]
  • The Freedom Pioneers Action Network released an attack ad against Sasse in May 2014, criticizing him for saying that Obamacare "is an important first step." Sasse defends himself by saying that this quote was taken out of context.[12]


Sasse has been endorsed by the following people and organizations:

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Sasse's reports.[23]

Ben Sasse (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[24]October 8, 2013$0.00$835,103.00$(28,607.56)$806,495.44
Year-End[25]January 26, 2014$806,495.44$569,593.76$(373,636.02)$1,002,453.18
April Quarterly[26]$1,002,453.18$883,903.11$(809,943.09)$1,076,413.20
Running totals

Sasse raised $800,000 in his first quarter. His opponent, Shane Osborn, raised $234,000 in his first quarter.[27]

He had received a total of $44,692 in earmarked contributions from the Senate Conservatives Fund as of December 2013.[28]


Sasse is married with three children.[29]

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See also

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  1. News Observer, "GOP Senate candidate Sasse resigns from university," accessed May 28, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Journal Star, "Sasse will be Senate candidate," accessed August 19, 2013
  3., "A new face in Nebraska politics: Ben Sasse," accessed August 19, 2013
  4. Sasse, Benjamin, "Biographical Information" Appendix to Hearing re Nomination of Dr. Benjamin Sasse. U.S. House. Committee on the Finance. Washington: Government Printing Office 2007-11-01. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  5. K. Weems & B. Sasse, "Is Government Health Insurance Cheap?" Wall Street Journal. 2009-04-19. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  6. Sen. Robert Cornyn (R-TX) & Benjamin Sasse, "Do Healthcare Reformers Fear A Reading Public?" Forbes. 2009-11-09. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  7. United States Senate Financial Disclosures. United States Senate. 2013-12-23. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  8. Omaha, "Opponents scour Ben Sasse's old writings for fodder," accessed April 29, 2014
  9. Roll Call, "Nebraska Republican to Make TV Buy During BCS Game," accessed December 16, 2013
  10. National Journal, "Osborn's New Ad Hits Sasse's Obamacare Past," accessed April 29, 2014
  11. The Hill, "Nebraska Senate GOP primary ad war heats up," accessed May 8, 2014
  12. Roll Call, "Super PAC Uses Candidate’s Kids to Attack His Campaign," accessed May 8, 2014
  13. Free Republican, "Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses Ben Sasse (Nebraska Senate Seat)," accessed October 22, 2013
  14. The Washington Post, "Club for Growth backs Sasse in Nebraska," accessed November 8, 2013
  15., "Senate hopeful Ben Sasse picks up endorsement of ex-House Majority Leader Dick Armey," accessed November 15, 2013
  16. Roll Call, "Rep. Paul Ryan Gives Support to Ben Sasse in Nebraska Senate Race," accessed November 19, 2013
  17. Roll Call, "Coburn Endorses in Competitive Nebraska Senate Primary," February 10, 2014
  18. Washington Times, "Mike Lee endorses Ben Sasse in Nebraska GOP Senate primary," March 4, 2014
  19. Journal Star, "Farm Bureau endorses Ben Sasse," accessed May 5, 2014
  20. The Washington Post, "Ted Cruz endorses Ben Sasse in Nebraska Senate race," accessed May 28, 2014
  21. 1011 Now, "Tea Party Express Endorses Ben Sasse for U.S. Senate in Nebraska," accessed May 28, 2014
  22. Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, "Ben Sasse earns nod from Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund," accessed May 28, 2014
  23. Federal Election Commission, "Ben Sasse Summary Report," accessed April 29, 2014
  24. Federal Election Commission, "Ben Sasse October Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  25. Federal Election Commission, "Ben Sasse Year-End," accessed April 29, 2014
  26. Federal Election Commission, "Ben Sasse April Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  27. Roll Call, "First-Time GOP Senate Candidate Posts Knock-Out Fundraising Quarter," accessed October 1, 2013
  28. Roll Call, "Senate Conservatives Fund Ramps Up Earmarking Effort," accessed December 27, 2013
  29. Journal Star, "Ben Sasse: Getting to know you," accessed August 19, 2013