Ashford crosses party lines, endorsing former rival Don Bacon

The Omaha Democrat lost Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional district seat to the current incumbent
Brad Ashford tweeted his endorsement for Rep. Don Bacon on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.
Brad Ashford tweeted his endorsement for Rep. Don Bacon on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.(WOWT)
Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 6:25 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Former Rep. Brad Ashford, who lost his seat in Congress after one term to Republican Don Bacon in 2016, is now throwing his support to the incumbent amid debates with challenger Kara Eastman.

Ashford restated his support for the incumbent in a tweet Thursday morning, following up on the endorsement he sent out Wednesday night. Bacon and Eastman debated on NET on Wednesday night and on at noon Thursday at the Omaha Press Club.

Calling Bacon and former Vice President Joe Biden “the best choice to break shackles of divisive partisanship and find partisan solutions,” Ashford commended Bacon’s bipartisan record in his endorsement, citing the Congressman’s support of the DREAM Act and continuing efforts to work across the aisle on COVID-19 aid and health care, according to a news release from Bacon’s re-election campaign.

Don Bacon is a leader of this effort. Joe Biden and Don Bacon have a history of finding bipartisan solutions. It is...

Posted by Brad Ashford on Thursday, October 8, 2020

Ashford, a former state lawmaker and Omaha mayoral candidate, has switched parties several times over the years and pitched himself as an independent-minded moderate. Eastman’s campaign referenced the inconsistency Thursday evening when responding to 6 News about the endorsement:

“Brad Ashford has been a Republican for most of his life, and worked to defeat Democratic Mayor Jim Suttle as recently as 2013. We are not the least bit surprised by his ongoing equivocation in politics.”

Dave Pantos, Eastman campaign manager

Ashford lost his chance to reclaim his post in Congress when he lost the Democratic primary to Eastman in 2018, who went on to lose her first bid against Bacon that November but earned a chance at a second showdown after defeating Ashford’s wife, Ann, in the Democratic primary this past May.

Ann Ashford reiterated her stance Wednesday evening that she wouldn’t be endorsing a candidate in the race for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional district, sternly tweeting “my husband and I are different people” and that “two people in a marriage should not be viewed as a husband and his extension.”

Ashford is just the latest notable Democrat to endorse him during this election season, according to campaign release, which lists former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who ran as the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2000; former Nebraska State Sen. Bob Krist, who ran against Gov. Pete Ricketts in 2018; and Barry Rubin, who previously served as the executive director of Nebraska Democratic Party, as Bacon supporters.

“I am beyond grateful to Rep. Ashford for his friendship and endorsement. I’ve worked hard to build consensus and find compromise in Congress, and I know Brad did the same. Not only is that the Nebraska Way, but it is what this district demands of a Representative. Brad has been the epitome of a servant leader for our state and I thank him for his support."

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.)

A news release from Bacon’s campaign included Brad Ashford’s full statement:

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Copyright 2020 WOWT. All rights reserved.

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