Democrats will take direct aim at Congressman Lee Terry in 2014 after coming close to unseating the incumbent in 2012.
The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Congressman Steve Israel of New York, said he believes Terry has made himself vulnerable by sticking to the budget cuts enacted when sequestration kicked in.
“Quite honestly, Lee Terry, by voting for sequester and voting for these furloughs, is creating a path for us to win in that district,” Israel recently told Nebraska reporters in a conference call.
Democrats plan to make the Defense Department furloughs part of the campaign against Republicans next year. To cope with the automatic budget cuts forced by the sequester, the Pentagon plans to furlough as many as 4,000 Defense workers in the Omaha area.
Terry, a Republican, narrowly won re-election last year. He defeated Democrat John Ewing, Jr., the Douglas County Treasurer, in 2012 by fewer than 4,200 votes out of nearly 264,000 cast. Ewing has recently stated he will not try again and, instead, will seek re-election to his county post.
Israel sees the district make-up as promising for Democrats, even though only about 48% of the voters in the district are registered Democrats.
“Those voters are notoriously independent, moderate voters and they want solutions and for as long as Congressman Terry clings to ideology rather than compromise, we think we have a path to winning,” according to Israel.
Israel acknowledges the party has not settled on a challenger to Terry. He says two or three Democrats have expressed interest in running for the seat next year.