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Former Lancaster County Republican Chairman Matt Innis said Friday he has decided to oppose Sen. Ben Sasse in the 2020 Republican Senate primary election.

Meanwhile, Sasse prepared to announce his candidacy for reelection Monday with a gathering of Republican luminaries, including Gov. Pete Ricketts, two former governors, two congressmen and Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert at his side.

The Sasse event will be held at the Millard Airport.

Innis questioned whether Sasse represents Nebraska's needs and whether he is supportive of President Donald Trump during his announcement on the Scott Voorhees talk radio program on KFAB in Omaha.

"Because of the federal court appointments, the reductions in government regulation by President Trump and his tax cuts that have cut unemployment in so many sectors and improved our economy, and getting tough with our trade partners, we need a senator who will support President Trump's reelection in 2020," Innis said.

Innis criticized Sasse for "abandoning the Agriculture Committee to get a more 'glamorous' committee assignment" in the Senate.

"Nebraskans want a U.S. senator who will be proud to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee and not turn his back on Nebraska's farmers," Innis said.

Sasse left the Agriculture Committee to gain assignment on the Judiciary Committee, where Trump's judicial appointments are being considered for Senate confirmation.

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Tyler Grassmeyer, Sasse's 2014 campaign manager, said "there's a reason nearly 80% of Nebraska Republicans approve the job Ben is doing.

"He's one of the three most conservative members of the Senate, fighting for the president's great judges, pushing the EPA on behalf of Nebraska farmers and ranchers, defending the unborn and crusading against generational debt," Grassmeyer said. 

Innis, 48, owns a lighting and cabling contracting business in Lincoln and previously served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was Lancaster County Republican chairman from 2011 to 2015.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.

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