Tea partyer grabbing names as GOP’s Terry plots next move

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Nearly a month after surviving a mere six-point primary win, Congressman Lee Terry still isn’t quite sure what hit him.

Rep. Lee Terry

“We’re still trying to figure that out,” Terry tells KFAB radio in some of his first public comments on the race.

Although he outspent little known Dan Frei 20-1, the 8-term incumbent, who shelled out $900,000, came out on top 53-47.

Chip Maxwell

The race was closer than many expected and Terry says at first glance it appears Congress’ poor reputation and low voter turnout were key factors.

“We knew there are people who are just frustrated with Congress, said Terry. “I’m in Congress and I’m frustrated with Congress.”

"Maxwell for Congress" petitions are on the street with some of his backers hoping to have more than enough signatures well before the September deadline.

“Maxwell for Congress” petitions are on the street with some of his backers hoping to have more than enough signatures well before the September deadline.

Terry’s lackluster win clearly energized tea partyer Chip Maxwell’s decision to make a 3rd-party run at Terry.

Maxwell needs 2,000 valid signatures by September to put his name on the November ballot, along with Terry and Democrat Brad Ashford. Many insiders argue Maxwell, who was grabbing names during Douglas and Sarpy County pizza parties this week, will siphon conservative votes from Terry sending Ashford to Capitol Hill.

State Sen. Brad Ashford

State Sen. Brad Ashford

“I think that’s a concern for us,” says Terry who also argues he’s ready for any and all comers. “Frankly the one thing I’ve done in every election is we’ve just outworked everybody.”

According to an Ashford poll, Terry’s really has his work cut-out for him this time.

The poll, which found Ashford and Terry dead even at 41 points and Terry’s disapproval rating at a stunning 63 percent, has led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to widen the bull-eye on Terry’s back adding Ashford’s name to its “Red to Blue” program.

“I’ve been on Red to Blue lists, two or three other times,” says Terry.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org.

Joe can be heard on Omaha’s KFAB radio every Monday at 7:40 a.m. 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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