Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) — Ben Sasse, president of Midland University, won the Nebraska GOP Senate Primary Tuesday, The Washington Post reports.

With all precincts reporting, the Post reports Sasse had 49 percent of the vote, Pinnacle Bank Chairman Sid Dinsdale came in with 22 percent and State Treasurer Shane Osborn was trailing in third with 21 percent in the race to replace the retiring Sen. Mike Johanns.

This is a clear victory for the tea party and it is their best shot in a Senate race this primary season.

Jordan Gehrke, a senior advisor to the campaign, said Sasse will go to the Senate and get to work on “day one.”

“We believe Ben is not going to be a back bencher when he gets there,” Gehrke told ABC News. “On day one he will be to Obamacare in the Senate what Paul Ryan has been to the budget in the House.”

Gehrke added that the “lesson of this campaign is candidates matter and solutions matter” and his candidacy was “never only about getting another conservative vote,” but instead about “putting forward big ideas.”

Sasse is not your classic anti-establishment choice. Even though he was backed by both Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz, as well as groups like Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund who have poured money into the race, he previously worked in President George W. Bush’s administration and has also been endorsed by both Paul Ryan and the National Review, elevating his profile in more establishment circles. Aides like to compare him to Ryan.

Outside money poured into the primary with a total of $3.1 million spent on television ads, a little more than half of that spent by outside groups, ad tracking sources tell ABC News.

Sasse was attacked over his out-of-state support and a recent ad touted his Nebraska backers, including former Gov. Kay Orr. Tea party and conservative groups were quick to applaud Sasse’s victory saying it showed the movement still has strength.

The Club for Growth spent nearly $500,000 in support of Sasse and members of the group contributed more than $350,000 to him. In a statement, Club for Growth president Chris Chocola congratulated Sasse and said he “clearly articulated a conservative vision to Nebraska voters who rewarded him with their votes.”

Brent Bozell, chairman of tea party group ForAmerica said in a statement, “The GOP establishment came after Ben with everything — including the ugliest and most reprehensible personal attacks — and it only made him stronger.”

SCF put in over $1 million in support of Sasse. Their executive director Matt Hoskins said in a statement Sasse will “lead the fight to repeal Obamacare.”

Sasse will face off against Omaha attorney Dave Domina in November, but in deep red Nebraska it should be an easy general election for Sasse.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LINCOLN, Neb.) — Despite a slim margin separating the candidates, Attorney General Jon Bruning called challenger Pete Ricketts to concede the Nebraska GOP gubernatorial primary Tuesday.

“Sometimes you fight hard and come up short,” he wrote online.

I have called @RickettsForGov to concede. Sometimes you fight hard and come up short. Thank you to all my supporters.

— Jon Bruning (@JonBruning) May 14, 2014

With 91.6 percent of precincts reporting, Ricketts led Bruning 26.3 percent to 25.6 percent and 1,525 votes separated the two candidates.

Ricketts, the former chief operating officer of Ameritrade, Inc., is the son of Joe Ricketts, founder of the Omaha-based online brokerage firm TD Ameritrade, Chicago Cubs owner, and billionaire GOP donor.

Tuesday’s face-off between the two was something of a re-match. In the 2012 GOP Senate primary, Bruning was the frontrunner until Joe Ricketts dumped a huge amount of money in a last-minute superPAC ad buy on behalf of Deb Fischer, who won the primary and the general election.

The race drew a number of high-profile endorsers for Ricketts, 49. Vice President Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin, as well as possible 2016 contenders Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, and Ted Cruz all backed Ricketts.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who is term limited, backed Bruning. With Nebraska a deep red state, Ricketts now becomes the favorite for November’s gubernatorial election.

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US Department of State(WASHINGTON) — Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty is tweeting out portions of an interview with Karl Rove in which he walks back on his comments – reported by the New York Post’s Page Six — alleging that Hillary Clinton has brain damage.

Tumulty tweeted: “Just talked to @KarlRove Says of Hillary: ‘Of course, she doesn’t have brain damage,’ but needs to be more forthcoming about what happened.”

Despite the clarification, the Republican strategist and former adviser to President George W. Bush was steadfast on his belief that Clinton’s health may be worse than she appears, suggesting it could be a factor as she mulls a run for president. “This is a serious health episode…She would not be human if it didn’t enter into her calculations,” Rove told the Washington Post.

In 2012, the former secretary of state had a blood clot that forced her to postpone her congressional testimony on the Benghazi attacks. While some Republicans saw it as a way for Clinton to skirt around the issue, Rove says he was not one of them.

Tumulty then posted to Twitter: “Where other GOPers accused @hillaryclinton of ‘Benghazi flu,’ @karlrove told me ‘she didn’t feign illness’ when she reskeded testimony.”

On Monday night the New York Post published a headline reporting that at a conference outside Los Angeles that evening, Rove declared that Clinton has “brain damage” and that if she runs for president in 2016, voters must be told what happened when she suffered a fall in December 2012.

Clinton’s team is fighting back against the claims. A spokesperson told the New York Post, “Please assure Dr. Rove she’s 100 perfect.”

UPDATE: Since Tuesday morning, Clinton’s team has slammed Rove for his allegations about Clinton’s health, calling his accusations “a form of sickness,” and saying the GOP is “scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer.”

Cinton spokesperson Nick Merrill emailed the following statement to ABC: “From the moment this happened seventeen months ago, the Right has politicized her health. First they accused her of faking it, now they’ve resorted to the other extreme – and are flat-out lying. Even this morning, Karl Rove is still all over the map and is continuing to get the facts wrong. But he doesn’t care, because all he wants to do is inject the issue into the echo chamber, and he’s succeeding. It’s flagrant and thinly veiled. They are scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer. What he’s doing is its own form of sickness. But she is 100%, period. Time for them to move on to their next desperate attack.”

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US Department of State(WASHINGTON) — Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty is tweeting out portions of an interview with Karl Rove in which he walks back on his comments – reported by the New York Post’s Page Six — alleging that Hillary Clinton has brain damage.

Tumulty tweeted: “Just talked to @KarlRove Says of Hillary: ‘Of course, she doesn’t have brain damage,’ but needs to be more forthcoming about what happened.”

Despite the clarification, the Republican strategist and former adviser to President George W. Bush was steadfast on his belief that Clinton’s health may be worse than she appears, suggesting it could be a factor as she mulls a run for president. “This is a serious health episode…She would not be human if it didn’t enter into her calculations,” Rove told the Washington Post.

In 2012, the former secretary of state had a blood clot that forced her to postpone her congressional testimony on the Benghazi attacks. While some Republicans saw it as a way for Clinton to skirt around the issue, Rove says he was not one of them.

Tumulty then posted to Twitter: “Where other GOPers accused @hillaryclinton of ‘Benghazi flu,’ @karlrove told me ‘she didn’t feign illness’ when she reskeded testimony.”

On Monday night the New York Post published a headline reporting that at a conference outside Los Angeles that evening, Rove declared that Clinton has “brain damage” and that if she runs for president in 2016, voters must be told what happened when she suffered a fall in December 2012.

Clinton’s team is fighting back against the claims. A spokesperson told the New York Post, “Please assure Dr. Rove she’s 100 perfect.”

UPDATE: Since Tuesday morning, Clinton’s team has slammed Rove for his allegations about Clinton’s health, calling his accusations “a form of sickness,” and saying the GOP is “scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer.”

Cinton spokesperson Nick Merrill emailed the following statement to ABC: “From the moment this happened seventeen months ago, the Right has politicized her health. First they accused her of faking it, now they’ve resorted to the other extreme – and are flat-out lying. Even this morning, Karl Rove is still all over the map and is continuing to get the facts wrong. But he doesn’t care, because all he wants to do is inject the issue into the echo chamber, and he’s succeeding. It’s flagrant and thinly veiled. They are scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer. What he’s doing is its own form of sickness. But she is 100%, period. Time for them to move on to their next desperate attack.”

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Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Joe Biden’s youngest son, Hunter Biden, has joined the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest oil company, at a time when the U.S. is urging Ukraine to develop energy independence from Russia, and just days after the vice president visited Ukraine.

The vice president’s office and the White House rejected any suggestion that there was a conflict of influence.

“Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer,” Vice President Biden’s spokeswoman, Kendra Barkoff, told ABC News. “The vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family are obviously private citizens and where they work … does not reflect an endorsement by the administration or by the vice president or president.”

According to a press release from the oil company, Burisma Holdings, Biden will help the company manage its relationships with “international organizations,” in addition to overseeing the company’s legal unit.

“Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine,” Hunter Biden said in a statement.

“As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine,” he said.

Biden, a graduate of Yale Law School, is a counsel to the New York-based law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University”s School of Foreign Service.

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Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Joe Biden’s youngest son, Hunter Biden, has joined the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest oil company, at a time when the U.S. is urging Ukraine to develop energy independence from Russia, and just days after the vice president visited Ukraine.

The vice president’s office and the White House rejected any suggestion that there was a conflict of influence.

“Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer,” Vice President Biden’s spokeswoman, Kendra Barkoff, told ABC News. “The vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family are obviously private citizens and where they work … does not reflect an endorsement by the administration or by the vice president or president.”

According to a press release from the oil company, Burisma Holdings, Biden will help the company manage its relationships with “international organizations,” in addition to overseeing the company’s legal unit.

“Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine,” Hunter Biden said in a statement.

“As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine,” he said.

Biden, a graduate of Yale Law School, is a counsel to the New York-based law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University”s School of Foreign Service.

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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(NEW ORLEANS) — Facing a tough re-election bid, Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu has gone to great lengths to distance herself from President Obama — even bragging about standing up to the president for his reluctance to approve the controversial Keystone pipeline.

But apparently Landrieu’s qualms with the president don’t extend to his wife, Michelle Obama.

Mrs. Obama and Sen. Landrieu met with spouses of military veterans during a joint appearance at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on Saturday.

Though the meeting with military spouses was a decidedly non-political event, it might be Michelle Obama’s first (albeit unofficial) foray into the 2014 midterm elections. The first lady, known for her ability to rouse support in campaign appearances, is sometimes referred to as “the closer” and is a sought-after campaign surrogate.

The meeting came after Mrs. Obama and Sen. Landrieu both received honorary degrees at the graduation ceremony at New Orleans’ Dillard University. And during her remarks, Mrs. Obama made a point to recognize Landrieu.

“I also want to recognize Senator Mary Landrieu, who is here. Let’s give her a hand,” Mrs. Obama said to the crowd. “She has been a strong supporter of this university.”

Mrs. Obama’s visit to Louisiana came just days after President Obama made a surprise visit to Arkansas to tour the tornado damage with Sen. Mark Pryor, another vulnerable Southern Democrat in this year’s midterms who – outside of the disaster relief efforts – has distanced himself from the president’s policies in his campaign.

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US Department of State(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday the United States “will make every effort” to locate and free the schoolgirls captured by the terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Kerry also mentioned the new video showing some of the girls — though he refrained from expressing hope over it.

“There was recent evidence demonstrating that at least a certain group of them were together at one place, at a certain period of time. We don’t know exactly when. What I can guarantee you is we will make every effort possible in order to help free these young women,” he said at a press availability with Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini.

He was also asked about the resignation of Syria special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, and whether anyone else in Brahimi’s job could achieve a peace deal with the Assad regime.

“Mr. Brahimi did not fail,” Kerry said, adding it would be a mistake to blame a stalemate in a peacemaking endeavor on one envoy.

And asked about Saudi Arabia’s indication that it was open to peace talks with regional rival Iran, the secretary of state said the U.S. had nothing to do with the invitation but was “delighted to see our good friends the Saudis engage in diplomacy that may or may not be able to have any number of possibilities in the region.”

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US Congress(WASHINGTON) — Does Sen. Marco Rubio believe in climate change? Based on what he told Jonathan Karl in an interview with ABC’s This Week and his comments Tuesday at the National Press Club, the answer is yes.

But, he doesn’t think lawmakers can do anything about it because he does not believe human activity is a major contributor to the Earth’s changing climate.

At the National Press Club Tuesday, the Florida Republican said, “There is climate change. The issue is not whether the climate is changing, as it always is changing. The issue is whether there is legislative proposals before us that could do anything about it.”

On This Week, Rubio said he doubts scientists who say human activity is a primary driver of climate change, saying, “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.”

But, he did not dispute evidence that the Earth’s climate is changing.

Rubio said on This Week, “I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow, there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate. Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and — and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to man-made activity.”

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US Congress(WASHINGTON) — Rep. John Conyers has served in Congress for nearly a half-century, but a county election official ruled Tuesday that he failed to submit enough valid signatures to appear on the Michigan Democratic primary ballot in August.

“It is my determination that in accordance with the current laws and statutes of the State of Michigan, the nominating petitions filed by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. are insufficient to allow his name to appear on the August 5, 2014 Primary Ballot,” Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett said in a statement.

Conyers is challenging the decision, a Democratic strategist working with his campaign told ABC News, but if the challenge fails, he will have to run as a write-in.

If he would win the primary as a write-in candidate, his name would be on the ballot for the general election.

Conyers is seeking a 26th term in the House. Election officials in Michigan said two of the people who were gathering signatures for his name to be on the ballot were not registered voters, so the 1,000 signatures they gathered were disqualified.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit in federal court Monday, saying it was unconstitutional to require people to be registered voters to gather signatures.

While his district is a safe Democratic seat, party officials say the episode is an embarrassment for the congressman, who will turn 85 on Friday. But with such high name recognition in the Detroit area, a write-in campaign is an obstacle, but likely not a roadblock to winning another term.

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