Election 2022: Vargas, Shelton announce run for Congress

Alisha Shelton and Tony Vargas have both announced they will run for Nebraska's 2nd...
Alisha Shelton and Tony Vargas have both announced they will run for Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District seat.(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 1:50 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Two contenders have announced they will challenge Rep. Don Bacon for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District seat.

State Sen. Tony Vargas said in an announcement Tuesday that he will seek the party’s nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, a three-term Republican in the district that includes Omaha and parts of its suburbs.

Vargas said Tuesday his focus will be on meeting the needs of working families, including access to affordable, quality health care, living wages, and better education. Vargas is a former public school teacher and one-time member of the Omaha Public Schools Board who was re-elected to a second term in the Legislature in 2020.

His announcement follows that of Alisha Shelton, a previous candidate in the Democratic Primary for Nebraska Senator.

“I’m running for Congress because Washington has forgotten about the Heartland,” she said in her announcement. “As a therapist, I see the needs of Nebraska families, and I’m ready to help. We don’t need a politician in Congress; we need an advocate who puts people first.”

Shelton was also initially selected by the Nebraska Democratic Party as a replacement candidate for embattled challenger Chris Janicek before she and the party threw her support to Preston Love Jr. in a failed effort to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Ben Sasse.

Bacon has already said he will seek re-election to a fourth term in 2022. The Republican Congressman was elected in November to continue representing Nebraska’s “blue dot” district, which secured one of the state’s electoral college votes for Joe Biden.

6 News Digital Director Gina Dvorak contributed to this report.

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