Furious Omaha House race is GOP Terry’s $900K challenge

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

What if?

Ashford TV ad calls Terry’s attacks “desperate”

What if Lee Terry didn’t have to shell out nearly $900,000 to barely win—53-47— his GOP primary?

Well, if nothing else, it’s the kind of money that would have made the current TV ad wars a slam dunk for the 8-term incumbent Congressman. Instead of a $2.4 million general election war chest Terry would be looking at $3.2 million.

As it is though, without that $900K, Democrat Brad Ashford—who is still not matching Terry dollar for dollar—appears to be close to matching Terry ‘ad for ad.’

Take for instance the pair’s recent glut of commercials on Omaha’s 10 p.m. news—prime time for grabbing likely voters.

You Tube

Terry ad accuses Ashford of being soft on crime

From Friday through Tuesday there were 19 pro-Terry ads compared to 16 pro-Ashford ads.

It’s the kind of fight Terry’s never seen before. By this time in his earlier campaigns his former Democratic foes were either off TV altogether or badly outnumbered.

But coming off his narrow—and again very costly— primary win over fellow Republican Dan Frei, Terry’s general election bankroll took a hit, allowing Ashford to stay in the TV game.

All the spending numbers aren’t in yet but here’s the mid-October totals for Team Terry (Washington GOP and the Terry campaign) and Team Ashford (Washington Democrats and the Ashford campaign).

Team Terry: $2.4 million.

Team Ashford: $1.8 million.

While that $600,000 might look like a lot, compared to Terry’s toughest races it’s not even close. In 2008 and 2012 Team Terry outspent Democrats Jim Esch by a 2-1 margin and John Ewing 3-1.

2012: Terry over Ewing 51-49 2008: Terry over Esch 52-48

Team Terry: $2 million Team Terry: $2.5 million

Team Ewing: $750,000 Team Esch: $1.1 million

The final spending numbers for this year’s Omaha House race won’t be known for weeks.

Terry and Ashford are still trolling for cash.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org.

Joe can be heard on Omaha’s KFAB radio every Monday morning at 7:40, KLIN in Lincoln every Tuesday morning at 7:35 and KHAS-AM in Hastings every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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