Congressman Lee Terry has conceded to challenger Brad Ashford, concluding he cannot make up a 4,000 vote deficit.
Terry refused to concede last night, even raising the question of voting irregularities at one point.
Terry, a Republican, became a rarity in the 2014 elections, which saw huge gains by Republicans across the country. Nebraska Republicans kept the statewide offices. Congressmen Jeff Fortenberry in the 1st District and Adrian Smith in the 2nd easily won re-election.
Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps says they are still in the process of counting about 13,600 absentee ballots and they won’t complete the task until Friday.
Still, the numbers counted so far work against Terry. The last unofficial tally by the Secretary of State’s office had Ashford with 76,354 votes, or 48.64% of the total. Terry trailed with 72,222 votes; 46.01% of the total. The Libertarian in the race certainly had an impact. Steve Laird finished a distant third, but still got more than 5% of the vote with 8,391.
“First, I want to congratulate Brad Ashford on winning this election,” Terry said during a news conference today. “I wish him well. I have already talked to him and told him that in the transition we will be as helpful as we are legally allowed to be and congratulate him and wish him well in representing the 2nd Congressional District.”
Ashford will make a statement later today. Ashford is a state senator, who was chairman of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee.
The last Nebraska democrat to be elected to the U-S House of Representatives was Peter Hoagland in 1989.