Ben Sasse's listening tour has turned into an official run for the U.S. Senate.
The president of Midland University, who is making a bid for the Republican Senate nomination, said Tuesday he plans to formally establish a campaign committee this week. He said he will begin to raise money and hire a staff in anticipation of the 2014 election.
“After weeks of listening across our state, it is obvious that Nebraskans want change in government,” said Sasse, 41, who is making his first bid for public office.
Sasse has said he will have a more “formal launch” of his campaign later this fall.
Sasse is the third Republican to jump into the race in a bid to succeed outgoing U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, who announced earlier this year that he would not run for re-election.
The other two Republicans in the field are former State Treasurer Shane Osborn and Omaha trial attorney Bart McLeay.
So far, no Democrat has gotten into the race.
State Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha has said he may run as a Democrat. Ashford started his political career as a Democrat, but then became a Republican. Several years ago, he announced that he was officially an Independent.
Ashford most recently ran for Omaha mayor. He came in fourth in a five-way race.
“This week I am taking the next step toward candidacy by filing the legal paperwork to raise money, hire staff, and begin organizing a campaign,” Sasse said, in a short press release Tuesday. “It is my intention to become a candidate for the U.S. Senate, with formal announcement coming this fall.”