A Nebraska Congressional race will draw national attention and a lot of dollars.
Former Offutt Air Force Base commander, Brigadier Gen. Don Bacon, easily won the Republican primary, setting up a showdown with freshman Congressman Democrat Brad Ashford.
University of Nebraska-Omaha Political Science professor Randall Adkins says the first salvo was fired when Democrats spent $430,000 against Bacon in the Republican primary.
“In spite of the fact that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee came in and invested heavily in trying to influence this race that really didn’t have an impact at all and in fact, it might have backfired on them,” Adkins tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The DCCC spent money in the Republican Second District Congressional primary, promoting former Sen. Chip Maxwell, who apparently seemed an easier opponent for Ashford. The tactic failed. Bacon won 31,639 votes, 66% of the total cast against Maxwell’s 16,294 votes.
Adkins expects a close race in the General Election. He says both candidates have advantages. Ashford has steered a largely independent course in Congress, according to Adkins, as he promised to do in his upset of Republican incumbent Lee Terry two years ago. Adkins says Bacon is an outsider, a plus this election year, with military experience.
The Second Congressional District of greater Omaha is a marginal district, according to Adkins, not in the pocket of either Democrats or Republicans. It can go either way, drawing the attention and the money of both parties. The intensity could build even higher if the electoral vote in the Second District comes into play in the presidential race.
Adkins says the money spent will reflect the importance Republicans place on regaining the seat and the importance Democrats place on retaining a foothold on the Nebraska Congressional delegation.
“This is probably going to be one of the most expensive House races in the country.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]