The first-time candidate serves as president of Midland University and has edged an early lead in the race after third-quarter fundraising reports showed him raising significantly more than all three of his opponents, at $835,000.

His next closest opponent, former state treasurer Shane Osborn, raised only $337,000. Sasse will also face Omaha lawyer Bart McLeay and Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale in the primary to replace retiring Sen. Mike JohannsMichael (Mike) Owen JohannsFarmers, tax incentives can ease the pain of a smaller farm bill Lobbying World To buy a Swiss company, ChemChina must pass through Washington MORE (R-Neb.).

The winner of the GOP primary is heavily favored to keep the seat.

SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins cited Sasse's experience with healthcare policy — he also served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is an outspoken critic of ObamaCare — as one of the reasons the group endorsed him in the race.

“Ben Sasse is a strong conservative with a proven record of solving difficult problems. He’s an expert on health care policy and will help repeal Obamacare and enact free-market health care policies that lower costs and increase quality,” said Matt Hoskins, executive director of the SCF.

“There are other good candidates in this race, but Ben Sasse stands above the rest.”

Following the news of the endorsement, Sasse issued a release in which he pledged to stop "ObamaCare and articulat[e] a constructive conservative governing vision for this country."

“The disastrous website roll out is only the tip of the iceberg of what's to come. This bill is going to make us less free, create a dependency culture that is deeply un-American, and it still won’t solve the problem of the uninsured,” he said.

SCF previously endorsed a losing GOP primary candidate in the 2012 Senate race in Nebraska, and went on to endorse the ultimate winner, Sen. Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerBill to bolster gun background checks gains enough support to break filibuster Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-Neb.), in the general.