Bacon leads the Omaha-area pack in 2nd District House fundraising

By: - January 31, 2022 6:32 pm

Rep. Don Bacon, campaigning in the 2020 election cycle. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

U.S. Rep. Don Bacon heads into the 2022 re-election year with nearly $1 million in the bank and a pair of Democrats raising enough money to wage a competitive primary to face him.

Bacon raised about $728,000 in the final quarter of 2021, based on year-end fundraising reports filed by Monday’s deadline. His fundraising rebounded after he briefly flirted with running for governor.

He’s seeking a fourth term representing Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, after beating former Omaha Rep. Brad Ashford once and twice defeating former Omaha nonprofit organization consultant Kara Eastman.

Two Democrats are vying to face Bacon this fall in the Omaha-area district: State Sen. Tony Vargas and mental health practitioner Alisha Shelton, both of Omaha.

Vargas reported raising $302,000 in the fourth quarter. He listed $440,000 cash on hand. Shelton reported raising $87,000 to wrap up 2021. She had about $89,000 on hand.

Rep. Adrian Smith of Gering, who represents Nebraska’s sprawling, largely rural 3rd District, had attracted no challenger by Monday who raised enough money to file reports.

Smith is the ranking Republican member of the subcommittee on trade of the House’s tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. He raised $165,000 in the fourth quarter and reported having $1.1 million cash on hand.

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Aaron Sanderford
Aaron Sanderford

Political reporter Aaron Sanderford has tackled various news roles in his 20-plus year career. He has reported on politics, crime, courts, government and business for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star. He also spent several years as an assignment editor and worked two stints as an editorial writer. From 2005 to 2007, he served as communications director for then-Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman. Aaron most recently was the lead investigative reporter for KMTV 3 in Omaha, focusing on holding public officials accountable. His work has received awards from the Associated Press, Great Plains Journalism and more.

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