Nebraska says good-bye to a veteran member of its Congressional delegation at the beginning of next year.
University of Nebraska at Omaha Political Science Department Chairman Randall Adkins says Congressman Lee Terry’s work on energy issues define his eight terms in office.
“I know that he’s played a big role in the Energy and Commerce Committee and chaired one of the sub-committees,” Adkins tells Nebraska Radio Network. “So, I think that’s probably what, in the long run, people will remember him for.”
Terry became a very vocal proponent of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, arguing that the nation could use the jobs it would produce and the energy security its crude would carry.
State Sen. Brad Ashford defeated Terry in the General Election, receiving nearly 49% of the vote. Terry won 46% of the vote. A third candidate, Libertarian Steve Laird, won a little more than 5% of the vote.
Terry was one of only two incumbent Republican Congressmen to lose their re-election bid in 2014, a year that tilted decidedly Republican.
Adkins speculates that Democrats saw Terry as vulnerable after the eight-term Congressman survived narrow re-election victories during the last two election cycles. Adkins says the national Democratic Party got behind Ashford, giving the challenger plenty of money and spending money independently in the race.
Fellow Republican, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, says Terry will be missed.
“Lee Terry is an old friend and I am very grateful for his relationship that we’ve had,” Fortenberry tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Agreeing is Republican Congressman Adrian Smith.
“I’m disappointed that Lee lost. He has been a colleague who’s been great to work with,” according to Smith, who says Terry helped him tremendously when he first won election to Congress.
With the win, Ashford broke the stranglehold Republicans had on the Nebraska Congressional delegation and while Fortenberry and Smith expressed disappointment Terry lost, both pledge to work with Ashford on issues important to Nebraska.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]