Shane Osborn is the best Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

He wins the Journal Star editorial board’s endorsement in a race with four candidates.

Of the four candidates, Osborn is the only one with experience as an elected official.

With political novices, there’s always a question of whether they can deliver what they promise on the campaign trail.

Osborn has demonstrated that he can.

Consider what he accomplished as state treasurer from 2007 to 2011:

* Created a website — nebraskaspending.gov — to increase transparency in state government. It allowed people to see how much each department spends and the sources of funding. The Legislature later passed a bill requiring that the website be made permanent.

* Boosted the amount of unclaimed property returned to taxpayers from $10 million the year before he took over to more than $16 million the following year.

* Cut spending in his office by 10 percent, and reduced the number of employees.

Osborn comes from working class roots. He grew up in a single-parent household. His mother worked three jobs to support the family. Osborn went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on an ROTC scholarship, and earned a degree in mathematics and statistics.

It’s also of importance that Osborn has military experience. After all, the U.S. Constitution says Congress shall have the power to declare war. Military veterans bring a special perspective to discussion of those issues.

Osborn found himself in the national spotlight in 2001 when he managed to land his Navy surveillance plane on a Chinese island after a Chinese fighter clipped his plane, damaging its propeller and fuselage.

For his actions, Osborn was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. In a dismaying development — apparently nothing is beyond the pale in an era of negative politics — some subsequently have questioned whether he deserved the award. The final word came from Retired Admiral Joseph Prueher, who said Osborn did “exactly the right thing” under the circumstances.

After that incident, Osborn went on to fly missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Prueher went on to say he thinks Osborn is exactly the type of leader Nebraskans need to elect to the U.S. Senate.

The Journal Star editorial board concurs.

There is not much difference between the GOP candidates on the issues.

If Nebraska voters elect Osborn, they can expect him to represent them effectively and honorably. He wins our endorsement.