Donors spread funds across Senate race, though Ben Sasse far ahead of other candidates -
Published Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 11:14 am / Updated at 3:55 am
Donors spread funds across Senate race, though Ben Sasse far ahead of other candidates

If you want to know just how wide open the Nebraska U.S. Senate race is, look at the latest financial reports.

Some of Omaha's largest political donors are hedging their bets and spreading their wealth, giving to more than one of the candidates competing for the GOP nomination.

For example, former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub gave $1,000 each to all three of the Republican candidates who filed their financial reports Monday: Omaha lawyer Bart McLeay, Midland University President Ben Sasse and former State Treasurer Shane Osborn.

Ken Stinson, former chairman of Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc., gave $2,000 each to all three. Omaha investment banker Michael Yanney gave $2,000 each to McLeay and Sasse.

On Tuesday, those three candidates running to succeed Sen. Mike Johanns released their third-quarter financial reports. The fourth Republican in the race, Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale, was the last candidate to officially file for the race, and his first report is not due until January.

So far, no Democrat has jumped into the race.

Sasse was the clear fundraising front-runner. The political newcomer, who is making his first bid for public office in Nebraska, raised $815,000. Of that, 49 percent came from Nebraskans, Sasse said.

Osborn raised $336,000 during the quarter that ended on Sept. 30. He did not indicate how much of his money was raised in Nebraska but said he raised money in 50 of the state's 93 counties.

McLeay raised $303,000, including a $50,000 loan from the candidate. Of the money he raised, 82 percent came from Nebraskans, he said.

Tuesday was the deadline for federal candidates to file their quarterly reports with the Federal Election Commission.

The report showed that Sasse has been stockpiling his cash. As of Sept. 30, Sasse reported having $806,000 in the bank.

Osborn was the first to enter the race and the only candidate who raised money in the second quarter of this year. Overall, Osborn has raised a total of $570,000. He had $427,000 cash on hand on Sept. 30.

McLeay, who like Sasse is a political newcomer, reported $260,000 in the bank as of Sept.30.

Contact the writer: Robynn Tysver    |   402-444-1309    |  

Robynn is's elections writer. She's covered presidential politics in Iowa's caucuses, and gubernatorial and Senate races in Nebraska.

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