The Nebraska Republican Party rebuked Sen. Ben Sasse on Saturday for his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, the latest Republican in Congress to face backlash from a state party.
The Nebraska GOP’s state central committee formally expressed its disappointment but stopped short of a formal censure, though the resolution said Sasse “stands rebuked” by the Nebraska GOP.
The senator, who was reelected last fall with 63% of the vote, dismissed the decision in a statement on Saturday, saying, “Most Nebraskans don’t think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude.”
A Nebraska GOP official confirmed the action to CNN on Saturday. The meeting was delayed earlier this month because of a winter storm.
“Senator Sasse’s condemnation of President Trump and his support for President Trump’s impeachment have been liberally used multiple times by Democrats as justification for a truncated impeachment process that denied the President due process,” the resolution read.
“The Nebraska Republican Party Central Committee expresses its deep disappointment and sadness with respect to the service of Senator Ben Sasse and calls for an immediate readjustment whereby he represents the people of Nebraska to Washington and not Washington to the people of Nebraska,” the resolution added.
Sasse, who did not appear at the meeting, has dismissed the Nebraska Republican Party’s threat to punish him. He was rebuked by the party in 2016, but went on to win by about 5 points more than Trump in the state last fall. President Joe Biden won the state’s 2nd Congressional District and a single electoral college vote from the Omaha area.
James Wegmann, a Sasse spokesman, also dismissed the move from the state party.
“Ben’s won far more votes and also earned more censures than anybody in Nebraska history, so maybe the two actually go hand in hand,” Wegmann said in a statement. “He doesn’t stick his finger in the wind.”
Earlier in the week, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania faced a potential censure from the state GOP that was ultimately hobbled by technical problems.
The rebukes underscore the reality that, on the state and local levels and with the party’s base, Trump remains overwhelmingly popular and there is little desire to cast him aside or move on to a new generation of leaders now that he is out of office.