A Congressional campaign in Nebraska has attracted national attention as the incumbent freshman tries to hold off a challenge from a fresh face in politics.
Republican Congressman Don Bacon knows the Second Congressional District of greater Omaha is not a safe Republican district.
“In races like this, two years ago, we spent $14 million in this district alone, because this is a competitive seat,” Bacon tells Nebraska Radio Network in an interview.
Competitive enough for money to be pouring into it.
Democrats have eyed a possible flip on the Second Congressional District as they attempt to take back control of the United States House. To pull it off, Democrats must take 23 seats now controlled by Republicans while maintaining the seats they have.
While many Democrats counted on a re-match between former Congressman Brad Ashford and Bacon, Eastman surprised many by defeating Ashford in the primary. Eastman’s victory might have upset some traditional Democrats in the Omaha area, it has brought in substantial campaign funds from out-of-state Democrats who embrace the liberal policies espoused by Eastman.
In fact, Eastman raised $1.25 million during the third quarter, nearly closing the fundraising gap between herself and Bacon. Bacon raised $550,000 in the third quarter. He still has the most money, $2.5 million compared to Eastman’s $2 million.
Bacon says he understands he faces a stiff challenge from Eastman. He says this is a race in which there is a clear choice.
“Almost on every issue, a very stark difference,” according to Bacon. “And, I would say, it’s the Bernie Sanders perspective versus a moderate conservative’s perspective.”
Bacon is the former commander at Offutt Air Force Base.
Eastman founded Omaha Health Kids Alliance and is a member of the Metropolitan Community College board of Governors.
Eastman declined numerous requests from Nebraska Radio Network for an interview for this piece.
In a KETV debate this past weekend, she said she would bring a different perspective.
“I’m running for Congress because I am sincerely feeling a sense of desperation right now for our country and, in particular, for our children,” Eastman said.
Eastman calls herself a progressive, but pragmatic.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]