Omaha steamfitter/union leader Dan Osborn to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Deb. Fischer

Sept. 21, 2023, 11:48 a.m. ·

Vote Stickers
I voted stickers are seen at a polling place (Associated Press)

LINCOLN — Incumbent U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer has an opponent.

On Thursday, Omaha steamfitter and labor leader Dan Osborn announced that he will challenge Fischer in the 2024 election as an independent.

Osborn, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and Nebraska Army National Guard, said his ability to “find solutions and move forward” was demonstrated in 2021 when he led the labor strike at Kellogg’s plant in Omaha as president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 50G. 

“I will bring together workers, farmers, ranchers, and small business owners across Nebraska around bread-and-butter issues that appeal across party lines,” he said in a press release.

“I believe Nebraska can show the rest of America a better way forward,” Osborn added.

Dan Osborn
Dan Osborn

A 48-year-old, married father of three children, Osborn, is a graduate of Omaha Roncalli Catholic High School.

He followed in his father’s footsteps in joining the Navy and served for four years aboard the USS Constellation. He later joined the Nebraska National Guard and has worked as an industrial mechanic at Kellogg’s since 2004.

“Whether it was keeping the supply chain moving on an aircraft carrier or repairing fire safety equipment to prevent disaster – if something is broken, I roll up my sleeves and fix it,” Osborn said.

He said that Nebraskans are looking for a “leader,” not a politician, to serve in Washington and that he is “uniquely capable” of working through the partisan gridlock plaguing the U.S. Senate.

“Historically, Nebraska has produced leaders who think in terms of issues, not parties; politicians with broad appeal across party lines, who could bring people together around common goals,” Osborn said. “The divisions in this country are threatening our great democratic experiment.”

In order to qualify for the 2024 ballot as a nonpartisan, Osborn must collect 4,000 signatures from registered Nebraska voters by Sept. 1, 2024.

Among those lending support for Osborn’s run in his announcement press release was Dan’s father, Gary Osborn, a former Dodge County commissioner and registered Republican.

Fischer, a 72-year-old Republican, is a former state senator who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012.

She recently picked up an endorsement for her 2024 run from Kellyanne Conway, a former adviser to Donald Trump who worked on the unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial campaign of Falls City businessman Charles Herbster.