Osborn is running for Senate in Nebraska. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Editor Stuart Rothenberg. This feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed.
The candidate: Former Nebraska Treasurer Shane Osborn, a Republican
The member: Retiring GOP Sen. Mike Johanns
The state: Nebraska has voted Republican in all but one presidential election since 1936.
The candidate’s team: Dave Boomer (campaign manager), Brad Todd of OnMessage Inc. (media and general consultant), Sam Fischer of Meridian (direct mail), Dean Dennhardt (finance)
1. Governors, including one in your own state, are turning down opportunities to be one of 100 in the Senate. As someone with a record of running things on your own, why does it interest you?
All my life passions have been fixing things that were broken, and I can’t think of anything more broken than the U.S. Congress.
2. You’re running in part on your credentials as an elected state treasurer. Why would that make you a good senator?
The biggest problem America faces in the future is problems with the debt. My background can provide great value in the U.S. Senate as we try to get the country back on track.
3. What’s the best thing about, or favorite place to go, in your hometown of Waterloo?
Farmer Browns Steak House. You can get a huge steak for $11 or $12.
4. You attended the University of Nebraska on an ROTC scholarship. How are they going to do in football this year?
I think we’ll continue to improve, but our defense is going to have to step up this year. My junior and senior years [1994 and 1995] we won back-to-back championships.
5. Not many candidates can say this: You were featured in People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 2001, fresh off playing a central role as a naval aviator in an international incident between the United States and China. How did that come about, and can you talk about the experience?
People did a whole thing on the crew called, “Born to Fly,” which is what I titled my book. They took a bunch of pictures, and then there it was. … By the time I got back, there were copies hung up all over the base. While some people may like to be named in People’s “Most Beautiful” list, I took a beating. [Editor's note: Osborn was flying a combat mission in Afghanistan following 9/11 on the night of People's gala to celebrate the issue in New York.]