Progressive challenger ekes out victory over former incumbent in Nebraska primary

Evarado Alatorre
May 17, 2018

Omaha-area voters are set to pick a Democratic nominee who will challenge U.S. Rep. Don Bacon after the Republican claimed the seat from Democrats two years ago.

Buehler, who ran for secretary of state in 2012, was the most centrist of the Republican front-runners. Ashford held the Second District seat for one term before falling to Bacon in the 2016 election.

Nonprofit executive Kara Eastman is the projected victor of Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary, staving off a comeback bid by former Democratic Rep.

In the gubernatorial race, GOP Gov. Pete Ricketts and Democratic state Sen.

But while Ashford basically started his general election campaign early, running ads touting his accomplishments bringing a VA medical center back to the district, Eastman ran hard to Ashford's left on a number of issues. It will either be the republican incumbent Deb Fischer - or her democratic challenger Jane Raybould.

That's a major disappointment for national Democrats, who had banked on him making a comeback run this election.

Raybould defeated three Democratic challengers in Tuesday's primary race for the seat held by Republican Sen.

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The other Democrats were Frank Svoboda, a retired farmer, attorney and judge from Lincoln; Larry Marvin, a retired real estate broker from Fremont; and Chris Janicek, of Omaha, who owns a specialty cake business.

The others seeking the GOP nomination are retired Omaha math professor Jack Heidel; writer and retired air conditioning technician Dennis Frank Macek; former finance manager Jeffrey Lynn Stein; and Lincoln businessman Todd Watson.

He faces fellow Republican Krystal Gabel in today's primary.

Democrat Paul Theobald is unopposed for his party's nomination but will be a giant underdog in the overwhelmingly Republican district.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has easily won the Republican nomination to seek a second term in November.

The primary could also give some shape to next year's state Legislature in races with more than two candidates. Brad Ashford in the Democratic primary for Nebraska's 2nd District.

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