LINCOLN, Neb., May 14 (UPI) -- Ben Sasse won the Nebraska Republican primary for U.S. Senate Tuesday, making him the runaway favorite to win the general election in the deeply red state.
Sasse, a former Bush administration official in multiple capacities, beat former state Treasurer Shane Osborn and local banker Sid Dinsdale to secure the party's nomination. The trio was running for the seat vacated by retiring Republican Mike Johanns.
Coming off weeks of declining polls and tea party losses, the victory, along with Alex Mooney's in West Virginia, was seen as a cause for celebration among far-right conservatives.
Controversial Texas Republican Ted Cruz, who campaigned with Sarah Palin for Sasse, called the primary "a clear indication that the grassroots are rising up to make D.C. listen." He continued, "They're rising up to take our country back."
Sasse has embraced the tea party penchant for rhetoric since entering the political stage, suggesting the nation's Capitol be moved to Nebraska and stating one's personal religious beliefs can exempt them from any law.