By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska suggested in a statement and social media post on Thursday that he was likely to leave the U.S. Senate in the near future and join the University of Florida as its president.
Sasse, 50, a former president of Midland University, was one of seven Republican Senators who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump on charges related to inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
His expected resignation will not alter the balance of power in the Senate, which Democrats control by a razor-thin margin, as fellow Republican, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, would appoint a successor.
In a statement on Twitter, Sasse said he was in talks with the University of Florida about building "a vision" for the institution, while the university's presidential search committee said it had unanimously recommended Sasse for the role.
The Nebraska senator took office in early 2015 and handily won re-election in 2020. His current term was scheduled to end in Jan. 2027.
Sasse publicly denounced Trump's false claims of widespread electoral fraud in the 2020 elections and said there was no basis to object to Democrat Joe Biden's election victory.
"(University of Florida) is the most important institution in the nation's most economically dynamic state," Sasse said on Twitter. "Washington partisanship isn't going to solve these workforce challenges - new institutions and entrepreneurial communities are going to have to spearhead this work."
The university's board of trustees and board of governors must vote to formalize the appointment of a new president, which is expected to happen over the next few weeks into November.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; editing by Richard Pullin)