Funding advantage: Ben Sasse.

After preliminary reports indicating he had chalked up a stellar three months of fundraising for his 2014 Republican Senate campaign, Sasse on Tuesday officially tagged the figure at $815,000.

That total eclipsed the $336,000 in contributions gathered by Shane Osborn during the just-completed fundraising quarter as well as the $570,000 aggregate amount that Osborn has raised during the full four months of his campaign.

Meanwhile, Omaha attorney Bart McLeay announced he raised $303,000 during the Federal Election Commission's just-completed campaign finance reporting quarter.

The fourth Republican Senate contender, Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale, a late entry into the race, will file an FEC fundraising report at the end of the next quarter.

Sasse, president of Midland University in Fremont, clearly earned the early fundraising advantage, but Osborn, the former state treasurer who has been elected statewide before, probably continues to lead the GOP pack in early name recognition. 

In addition to $815,000 in contributions raised, the Sasse campaign also is fueled by a $20,000 personal start-up loan provided by Sasse on July 31.

"Ben knows more about how to stop Obamacare than any other candidate running for federal office in America today," Sasse campaign manager Tyler Grassmeyer said.

Sasse was assistant U.S. secretary of health and human services in the George W. Bush administration.

Osborn said Nebraskans remember his record of increasing transparency and accountability while cutting his budget as state treasurer.

"I'm committed to cutting taxes, reducing spending and eliminating burdensome federal regulation," he said.

McLeay promised to continue an aggressive travel schedule throughout the state listening to Nebraskans' concerns.

Sasse entered October with $806,000 in cash on hand.

Osborn reported nearly $427,000 and McLeay had $260,000.

The four candidates are seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Republican Sen. Mike Johanns, who is not seeking re-election next year.

Reach Don Walton at 402-473-7248 or at