PALMER, Neb. —In his first day on the campaign trail, Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale landed a big endorsement — former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne.
Osborne introduced Dinsdale at a Lincoln press conference, one of three events Dinsdale held Monday as he became the fourth Republican in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns.
Dinsdale is a third-generation Nebraska banker whose family started Pinnacle Bank. He is making his first statewide bid for office.
Dinsdale is running as a pro-business, small-government Republican who also believes in term limits. He started his Senate bid with a journey to his hometown of Palmer, where about 150 family and friends gathered to cheer on the native son.
Standing in front of a family-owned grain elevator, Dinsdale vowed to limit his time in the U.S. Senate — if he's elected — to two terms.
“I intend to be a citizen senator. Someone who has actually created jobs, made payroll, grown a business and, most importantly, someone who isn't afraid to admit that I've made a few mistakes along the way,” he said.
Dinsdale's entry is believed to set the Republican field for next year's election. He joins Midland University President Ben Sasse, former State Treasurer Shane Osborn and Omaha attorney Bart McLeay in the race.
So far, no Democrat has publicly expressed interest in a bid.
Dinsdale grew up in Palmer, a community of about 400 located 30 miles north of Grand Island. It was there that his grandfather helped to start a bank that catered to the agriculture community.
Pinnacle Bank is now one of the state's largest homegrown banks. It ranks third in assets among banks based in Nebraska, with 68 branches across Nebraska and three in Kansas.
Dinsdale made it clear that his and his family's successful banking business will be a cornerstone of his campaign.
“I grew up in a family of small business owners and understand firsthand (that) left to our own intelligence, ambition and perseverance, Americans and American businesses flourish, and so does our country,” Dinsdale said.
Dinsdale indicated that he had no plans to use his personal wealth to bankroll a campaign, saying he would raise money from donors.
When asked how much he planned to contribute to his campaign, Dinsdale said: “I hope not much. I want people to invest in my campaign.”
One of his priorities, he indicated, would be reducing government regulations.
“Government constantly interferes with the lives of individuals and businesses, damaging our productivity and our ability to compete in this global economy,” Dinsdale said.
He also said that he will lay out his policy positions in greater detail in the coming months.
Dinsdale was a major supporter of the failed effort to recall then-Mayor Jim Suttle and contributed to the mayoral campaign of Dave Nabity in the spring.
He also is widely known in Republican circles, having contributed to several campaigns in the past, including U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer's successful Senate run last year.