Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, has been revealed as the sole finalist for the presidency at the University of Florida and will be stepping down from his seat to take the job.
In a tweet announcing the move, Sasse, who was elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2020, did not specify a timeline for when he would leave the Senate or join the university. Prior to his time in the Senate, Sasse served as president of Midland University in Nebraska from 2010 to 2014.
Sasse was revealed as the finalist under a new Florida law that keeps the names of candidates confidential during the search process until the end—a law that transparency advocates oppose.
If formally hired as expected, Sasse will be the second politician tapped for a major education leadership role in Florida in as many months, even as the state struggles to attract talent to certain positions. The State University System of Florida, for example, only received eight applicants for its chancellor position, a job that eventually went to State Senator Ray Rodrigues, an ally of Republican governor Ron DeSantis.
Sasse gained notoriety on Twitter during the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election by frequently calling out the misbehavior of candidate Donald Trump. Despite his early opposition, Sasse mostly fell in line behind Trump once he was elected president, though he did buck the party by voting to convict Trump of inciting an insurrection in his second impeachment trial.