Reports broke Thursday evening that Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) will be announcing his resignation from the Senate.
Also on Thursday, the University of Florida announced that Sasse is the only finalist being considered by its search committee as the next president of the school.
Sasse issued a statement posted on Twitter that the school is the “most important institution in the nation’s most economically dynamic state.” In saying that he was “excited about the wide range of opportunities” at the University of Florida, he added: “Washington partisanship isn’t going to solve these workforce challenges – new institutions and entrepreneurial communities are going to have to spearhead this work.”
Reporting indicates that Sasse is likely to formally resign from the Senate in December before beginning in his new position in Gainesville, Florida, in February.
UF presidential search committee chair Rahul Patel said that hiring Sasse is right for the school, the state, and for Sasse’s family. He added that Sasse “brings intellectual curiosity” and an “unmatched track record” of higher education leadership to the job.
Before running for the Senate seat from Nebraska, Sasse taught at the University of Texas and served as president of Midland University.
Former President Donald Trump ridiculed Sen. Ben Sasse after reports emerged that the Nebraska Republican is expected to resign from the Senate by the end of the year to head the University of Florida.https://t.co/3MATJ6FJwW
— Newsmax (@newsmax) October 7, 2022
Sasse was among the most strident Republican critics of President Donald Trump during his time in the White House. Sasse voted to convict and oust Trump from office on the second impeachment obtained by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the House.
Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social after the news of Sasse’s expected resignation that it is “great news for the United States Senate, and our Country itself.”
He added: “We have enough weak and ineffective RINOs in our midst. I look forward to working with the terrific Republican Party of Nebraska to get a REAL Senator to represent the incredible People of that State, not another Fake RINO!”
Sasse first ran for the Senate seat he now holds in 2014 and was reelected in 2020. As his current term will not end until 2026, upon his resignation, Republican Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts will appoint his replacement, who will serve until a special election in 2024. That election will be for the two years remaining on the term.
In a press statement, Ricketts said that he appreciates Sasse’s service to his state and the nation, and said he expects he will make an “excellent president for the University of Florida.” The governor expressed hope that Sasse will become a “conservative voice” in America’s universities.
Ricketts spokesperson Alex Reuss said that the governor is not going to engage in any “speculation at this point” about who would be appointed as Sasse’s replacement in the Senate.