Nonprofit executive Kara Eastman scored a surprise victory over former Rep. Brad Ashford in the Democratic primary for Nebraska’s 2nd District.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Eastman led Ashford, 51 percent to 49 percent, when The Associated Press called the race early Wednesday morning.
GOP incumbent Don Bacon ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Bacon unseated Ashford in 2016 by 1 point, while President Donald Trump was carrying the district by 2 points.
Ashford had the backing of national Democratic leaders, including his former colleagues in Congress who donated to his campaign. He had also been added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red to Blue program and was viewed as a strong challenger to Bacon as he sought a rematch.
Eastman said last week that her campaign had been focusing on its ground game, reaching out to Democratic voters Omaha-based 2nd District. She stressed that health care remained a top issue on voters’ minds, noting her support for “Medicare-for-All” legislation.
A first-time candidate, Eastman said she was inspired to run for Congress by her mother’s battle with cancer and the extremely costly prescription drugs that she struggled to afford.
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