Omaha’s Tea Party and the 2014 House race: The future is now


Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Now that you’ve heard all about Tea Partyer Chip Maxwell’s rebellion putting 8-term GOP Congressman Lee Terry’s future in jeopardy forget about Election Day 2014, let’s fast forward to 2016.

Lee Terry

Congressman Brad Ashford—coming off his victory over Terry and Maxwell two years earlier—is running for re-election.

Brad Ashford

And while some in the GOP are still smarting over Ashford’s 2014 victory, the party’s Terry-haters are thrilled. This is the match-up they’ve been dreaming of; after all they split Terry’s vote in 2014 guaranteeing Ashford’s win.

Now it’s time for phase two: run a “principled-conservative” against Ashford, beat him and regain the seat.

And although Maxwell spent 2014 denying he’s a “spoiler” here in 2016 those GOP insiders, who stuck with Terry through thin and thinner in 2014, argue the thought of taking Ashford out now, after two years in office, is fools’ gold.


1) 2016 Ashford—no matter how weak the GOP claims he is— is an incumbent U.S. Congressman and Capitol Hill incumbents win some 99 percent of the time.

2) 2016 is a presidential election year—when Democratic voter turnout in Omaha jumps almost 30 percent over non-presidential years like 2014.

3) Omaha’s presidential electoral vote will be in play—so the national Democratic Party will be in town playing hardball, spending big money, in other words helping Ashford keep his job.

All that because in 2014 after Terry won the GOP primary by an unimpressive six points over upstart Dan Frei, Frei’s fans didn’t go quietly—they either didn’t vote for anyone or cast their lots with Maxwell and the Tea Party: Enter Congressman Ashford.

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