WASHINGTON Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who regularly disagreed with former President Donald Trump but was elected to a second term in 2020, is anticipated to step down before the year is through, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Thursday.
According to the source, Sasse is anticipated to quit the Senate in order to become the president of the University of Florida. After the story leaked on Thursday, Sasse and the institution both confirmed that he is in discussions for the top position there.
An ex-employee of Sasse’s who now does a talk radio show for KFAB in Omaha, Nebraska, Ian Swanson, initially broke the news on his show on Thursday by revealing that Sasse will soon be leaving his position to work in academia.
Sasse was successfully re-elected in 2020, and his current term will end in 2027. Sasse has long had disagreements with Trump and his own party. Sasse was extremely critical of Trump as he ran for re-election in 2020, claiming that he “kisses dictators’ butts,” “flirted with white supremacists,” denigrates women, mocks evangelicals in private, and treats the office like a commercial opportunity.”
Sasse was one of seven Republican senators who voted to sentence Trump for his involvement in the violent riot following the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump was explicitly criticized by him for threatening election authorities and continually lying about widespread election fraud and the results of the 2020 election.
The vice president’s life was in risk as a result of those lies, and we were dangerously near to a deadly constitutional crisis, Sasse remarked at the time. These are all breaches of the president’s oath of office, according to each action.
Sasse referred to the University of Florida as the most significant institution in the most economically vibrant state in the country in a statement on Thursday.
New institutions and entrepreneurial communities will have to take the lead in this endeavor because Washington partisanship won’t be able to address the labor concerns, according to Sasse. I’m thrilled about the numerous opportunities if UF wants to succeed.
According to a leadership aide, Senate Republican leaders had been informed of the development.
Sasse was chosen as the only finalist to lead the university by the University of Florida’s presidential search committee in an official announcement made on Thursday afternoon.
Rahul Patel, the head of the university’s Presidential Search Committee, declared that this was the appropriate decision for the University of Florida, the state of Florida, and the Sasse family. Ben has a unique track record of leadership across higher education, the government, and the corporate sector, as well as intellectual curiosity, a conviction in the strength and potential of American universities.
The announcement starts a procedure that includes discussions between Sasse and representatives from Gainesville, where the university is headquartered, and is outlined in Florida state law.
The Florida board of governors will vote to approve the selection after the colleges board of directors has had three weeks to consider the search panel’s suggestion.
The insider said: “We anticipate that will be approved by the end of the year, and then he would step down before the end of the year and the governor of Nebraska would choose the replacement.”
The newly elected senator would hold office until January 3, 2025. A special election would be held in 2024 to complete Sasse’s remaining term because he was only recently re-elected in 2020.
Sasse, 50, a former president of Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska, who worked in the administration of President George W. Bush, was chosen to the Senate in 2014.