Former state Treasurer Shane Osborn says he’s optimistic with only a few days to go before the Republican primary for United States Senate.
The decision of Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican, to retire from public office attracted four serious candidates to the Republican primary.
Osborn, a businessman and former statewide officeholder, claims charges and counter-charges have veered the GOP US Senate race off course.
“I want to talk about the issues. I want to talk about the fact that I’ve actually shrunk government as a state Treasurer; that I brought transparency to Nebraskans and it’s what I’ll do in Washington, D.C. I want to talk about how we get this economy going,” Osborn tells Nebraska Radio Network. “It’s unfortunate that we’re not talking more about the issues; mud’s being slung.”
Mud has been slung in the race, mostly by outside special interest groups, the so-called third party advertising campaigns. The mud has been slung at both Shane Osborn and Ben Sasse, the perceived front-runners in the campaign. A bit of mud has been slung of late at Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale as well.
One of Osborn’s strengths as a candidate, his military service, has actually become a target in the campaign. In early 2001, Osborn landed a disabled Navy reconnaissance plane in China. His endurance during the ordeal and efforts to save his crew drew widespread praise at the time. Some though have questioned the action, saying it made sensitive material vulnerable to Chinese intelligence.
Osborn suspects Ben Sasse is behind third-party negative ads against him, openly accusing Sasse of waging a hands off campaign against him.
Osborn says he’s battling through the negative advertising.
“It’s going to be a fight to the finish, but you know that the hard work this last year of driving all over the state and getting out there and meeting Nebraskans is going to pay off on May 13th,” according to Osborn. “I’m proud of the campaign we’ve run and what we’re doing and we’re just going to continue working hard.”
Sasse is the president of Midland University. Others in the campaign are Dinsdale, president of Pinnacle Bancorp and Bart McLeay, an attorney from Omaha.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]