Progressive challenger ekes out victory over former incumbent in Nebraska primary

Sen. Deb Fischer R-Neb. accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mc Connell of Ky. talks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Nebraska voters on Tuesday

In Omaha, Democrat Kara Eastman was locked in a tight race with former Congressman Brad Ashford, which will determine who moves on to challenge Republican Rep. Don Bacon in the competitive 2nd Congressional District.

First District Republican Congressman Don Bacon will face Democratic primary victor Kara Eastman in the general election.

Nebraska voters set up a November gubernatorial showdown between Gov. Pete Ricketts and State Sen.

But while Ashford basically started his general election campaign early, running ads touting his accomplishments bringing a VA medical center back to the district, Eastman ran hard to Ashford's left on a number of issues. Krist held off two other candidates to win the Democratic nomination.

Ashford had the backing of national Democratic leaders, including his former colleagues in Congress who donated to his campaign. Bob Krist, university instructor Tyler Davis and community activist Vanessa Ward, all of Omaha.

Before Nebraska's first female governor - there was Virginia Smith.

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He faces fellow Republican Krystal Gabel in today's primary. Fischer held off four challengers to win yesterday's Republican primary.

Her Democratic challengers include Lincoln City Councilwoman Jane Raybould, retired farmer, attorney and judge Frank Svoboda of Lincoln; retired Fremont real estate broker Larry Marvin; and Chris Janicek, the owner of an Omaha specialty cake business. Her primary challengers were Jack Heidel, a retired math professor from Omaha; Dennis Frank Macek, a writer and retired air conditioning technician from Lincoln; Jeffrey Lynn Stein, a professional photographer from Omaha; and Lincoln businessman Todd Watson.

Knute Buehler has won the GOP gubernatorial primary, besting a crowded field vying to compete against incumbent Democrat Kate Brown in November.

Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska has won the Republican nomination in her bid for a second term in office.

The Democratic candidates had been locked in a virtual tie most of the night. Although Omaha's strong Democratic core is balanced out by more conservative suburbs, the district gives Democrats a fighting chance of capturing a congressional seat in a state that is otherwise overwhelmingly Republican.

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