Phyllis Schlafly endorses Osborn in Nebraska

Republican Shane Osborn nabbed the endorsement of social conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly in his bid for Senate in Nebraska.

Schlafly, head of the anti-feminist, anti-abortion group the Eagle Forum, said in a statement obtained exclusively by The Hill that she’s endorsing Osborn because the nation needs “leaders with strong moral convictions.”

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"I am pleased to announce my support for Shane Osborn in the Nebraska U.S. Senate race. Our nation is at a crossroads, and we urgently need leaders with strong moral convictions to lead our nation back into prosperity and constitutional government,” Schlafly said.

“Shane Osborn is just what the doctor ordered to take on the federal overreach, repeal Obamacare, and protect the unborn. He has sacrificed much for our freedoms through his service to our country. He proved himself a true fiscal conservative during his tenure as state treasurer. We need Shane Osborn in the United States Senate," she added.

Osborn said he was “honored” to receive Schlafly’s endorsement.

"She has dedicated her life to defending the conservative ideals important to Nebraskans, such as protecting the lives of unborn children and fighting for traditional family values. I am inspired by her life-long commitment to the creating a better, stronger nation, and I look forward to emulating her courage as the next U.S. Senator from Nebraska," he said.

Osborn, a Navy veteran and former state treasurer, has also received the endorsement of the Concerned Women PAC, a similarly anti-abortion group, in his bid to replace retiring Sen. Mike Johanns (R).

Many of the nation’s most prominent social and fiscal conservative groups are split on the Nebraska Senate Republican primary between Osborn and Midland University President Ben Sasse, the two front-runners.

Sasse has the backing of the Family Research Council, as well as the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund.

But FreedomWorks is backing Osborn, charging that Sasse wouldn’t do enough to oppose ObamaCare if elected, citing his work on healthcare policy during his time as an assistant secretary of Health and Human Services under former President George W. Bush.

The endorsements appear to have helped Sasse, however. A recent conservative poll showed him gaining support and about tied with Osborn.

Still, Schlafly's endorsement is the latest indication that conservatives remain split on the two candidates, and that the GOP nomination, which is a likely ticket to a win in November in the deep-red state, remains in contention.