Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Democratic Primary for Nebraska's 2nd District Remains Too Close to Call

Primary Election 2018: Voter's guide What you need to know about Tuesday's Nebraska primary election
Deanna Wagner | 17 May, 2018, 04:06

Democrats were excited that Ashford, a moderate Republican-turned-Democrat who lost by just one point last fall, would give Bacon a tough challenge.

Buehler, who ran for secretary of state in 2012, was the most centrist of the Republican front-runners. Eastman defeated former Congressman Brad Ashford, who was a favorite among top leaders in the party's primary.

The 2nd Congressional District race is the most high-profile contest among the Tuesday primaries in Nebraska and a potential bright spot for Democrats who are heavily outnumbered throughout the state.

The potential problem for Democrats is that Eastman's outspoken liberalism may turn off general-election voters in Nebraska's 2nd District, which, while not ruby red, is still red.

Republican Sen. Deb Fischer will try to earn a second term in November against Democratic Lincoln City Councilwoman Jane Raybould. Krist held off two other candidates to win the Democratic nomination.

The surprising win could be a sign the Democratic party is going farther left and looking for outsiders like Eastman, who has never run for a political office. First District Republican Congressman Jeff Fortenberry had no challenger yesterday, but he will face the victor of the Democratic primary, Jessica McClure, in November.

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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. Bob Krist, university instructor Tyler Davis and community activist Vanessa Ward, all of Omaha.

Rep. Adrian Smith led in the 3rd District Republican primary with roughly two-thirds of the vote.

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

Of the 24 districts that are up for election, 10 have more than three candidates vying for the seat.

Evnen's victory on Tuesday sets him up to face Democrat Spencer Danner, an underdog in GOP-dominated Nebraska.