Chip Maxwell and Don Bacon discussed their backgrounds and the issues facing the district during an hour-long conversation with radio host Scott Voorhees on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KFAB, Omaha.
Maxwell is a former Douglas County Commissioner and state senator. He says he has the experience to serve in Congress.
“You need someone with political scar tissue,” Maxwell says. “You need someone where you’ve seen this person in battles before and you know where that person is going to be. You need someone with a proven track record that you can count on, because this is not an entry-level position.”
Bacon retired as a brigadier general after nearly 30 years in the Air Force. He says that experience is an asset.
“Right now, national security is the number one issue,” Bacon says. “I understand what’s going on in the Middle East. I understand ISIS, Iran. I helped defend Israel. I know Offutt Air Force Base as being the commander. So, I think I bring something new and valuable to Congress.”
Illegal immigration has become a major issue in the race. Bacon says he is against amnesty, but also does not support deporting all illegal immigrants.
“A one-size-fits-all approach for the 11 million illegals who are here will not work,” he says. “For example, we have illegals serving right now in the military. Are we going to deport them immediately, those who have been in Iraq or who are serving in the Middle East or Afghanistan?”
Bacon says along with flexibility, tougher border security is needed and better hiring practices.
Maxwell says there should not be exceptions to the rule of law.
“If you accommodate illegal immigration by granting legal status,” Maxwell says, “the word goes out around the world – Just get there, any way you can, just get to America! They’re not going to kick you out. Just hang in there. They’ll give you legal status. You’ll even have a chance of getting citizenship someday.”
Maxwell says he favors Arizona’s law, which denies illegal immigrants the ability to work there.
The 2nd District race among the Republicans has even attracted the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC is spending money on an ad for incumbent Congressman Brad Ashford, but highlights Maxwell’s record. The idea is to paint Maxwell as the more conservative GOP candidate, so conservatives who vote in the Primary pick him over Bacon.
“Perhaps it’s plausible in that (the Democrats) want me in the General Election because I am the most conservative candidate in this race,” Maxwell says. “I make a starker contrast with liberal Brad Ashford. I’m staying out of it. I am focused on my race and my conservative message, and we’ll let the voters sort it out.”
Bacon says he is not surprised by the Democrats’ ad.
“(The Democrats) see Chip as the easier person to defeat in November and they’re trying to bump me out early,” he says. “Nancy Pelosi is trying to influence, impact this race and it’s wrong. I think Chip should denounce those ads and say – hey, pull them off.”
Maxwell says he has nothing to do with the ads.
The Nebraska Primary Election is Tuesday, May 10.