Mike Lee endorses Sasse for Neb. Senate
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeConservatives balk over funding bill ahead of shutdown  Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Senate sides with Trump on providing Saudi military support MORE (R-Utah) has made his first endorsement of the election cycle for Republican Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseGOP senator tears into Trump for congratulating Putin The Hill's 12:30 Report Overnight Defense: Trump unveils new sanctions against Russia | Key Republicans back VA chief amid controversy | Trump gives boost to military 'space force' MORE, running for Senate in Nebraska.

In a statement, Lee said he’s backing the Midland University president for Senate because he’ll offer solutions for the nation’s problems.

“Ben understands that while we have to fight hard to stop the policies of President Obama and the Washington establishment, he also recognizes that we must run and win on the power of our positive ideas. He knows that conservatives have solid solutions to meet the great difficulties our country faces,” he said.

Lee’s endorsement was featured prominently in a fundraising email circulated by the Senate Conservatives Fund, which has also backed Sasse in the race.

His main competition in the Republican primary, former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, received the endorsement of social conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly on Tuesday as well.

The two have split the nation’s major conservative groups in their bids to replace retiring Sen. Mike Johanns (R).

Sasse has also earned the backing of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the Club for Growth, among others, while FreedomWorks and the Concerned Women PAC have both backed Osborn.

At issue in the race is ObamaCare. FreedomWorks has charged 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 groups supporting Sasse, however, have said his resume gives him the experience needed to offer solutions to the nation’s health care troubles.

A recent conservative poll showed Sasse gaining support and about tied with Osborn in the race.