Ben Sasse, Prominent Trump Critic, Likely to Resign Senate

Ben Sasse, the Nebraska Republican and prominent Trump critic, is likely to resign the Senate in the coming months.


Ben Sasse, the Nebraska Republican and prominent critic of former President Donald Trump, is likely to resign the Senate in the coming months to lead the University of Florida.

  • Sen. Sasse is the sole finalist to become president of the University of Florida and the Senator indicated on Twitter he is likely to accept the position.
  • “UF is the most important institution in the nation’s most economically dynamic state. Washington partisanship isn’t going to solve these workforce challenges — new institutions and entrepreneurial communities are going to have to spearhead this work. If UF wants to go big, I’m excited about the wide range of opportunities,” said Sasse in a statement posted to Twitter.
  • Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts would appoint a successor to serve until a 2024 special election for the remaining two years of Sasse’s term, which expires in January 2027.
  • Sasse explained his decision in an exclusive interview with National Review’s John McCormack: “I think one of the most basic things we can do to reinvigorate [the Senate] is to say that people ought to only be here for a time and then get back to building stuff.”
  • Sasse entered the Senate in 2015 and quickly gained prominence as a critic of former President Donald Trump’s conduct in office and penchant for inflammatory public remarks while voting with Trump’s legislative agenda 86% of the time.
  • The Nebraska Republican denounced Trump’s meritless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 elections and was one of seven Senate Republicans to vote to convict Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The Guardian linked Sasse’s resignation with the departures of other prominent anti-Trump Republicans. Of the 17 Republican legislators that voted to impeach Trump in 2021, only two congressmen and four senators will likely return to Congress in January.
  • POLITICO wrote a Senate vacancy would put “all eyes on [Pete] Ricketts,” the Nebraska governor. G.O.P. Reps. Don Bacon and Mike Flood, along with Ricketts himself, are thought to be in contention for the safe Republican seat.
  • The New York Times noted that despite Sasse’s “sharp criticism of Mr. Trump,” he “maintained a solidly conservative voting record.”



  • Former President Donald Trump celebrated the news in his typically classy and understated fashion. Per The Washington Examiner, Trump predicted UF would “regret” hiring him and said, “Great news for the United States Senate, and our Country itself. Liddle’ Ben Sasse, the lightweight Senator from the great State of Nebraska, will be resigning. If he knew he was going to resign so early in his term, why did he run in the first place? But it’s still great news!”
  • National Review argued Sasse is “a much better fit at the University of Florida than in the U.S. Senate.” Author Philip Klein thought it was “puzzling” why Sasse wanted to be a Senator as he “spent much of his time as a lawmaker writing books, complaining about the vapidity of Washington, D.C., and mocking the uselessness of the Senate.”
  • Breitbart called Sasse “one of the most ineffective senators” and cherry-picked his record for the votes most likely to annoy Breitbart readers. The author gave the game away by citing the frequency that Sasse voted with McConnell (85%), which is actually lower than the frequency that Sasse voted with Donald Trump. Sasse’s Trump score, naturally, goes unmentioned in the piece.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022