Brad Ashford might have been a little late to the party, but national Democrats are welcoming him to the contest for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, Rep. Steve Israel told the World-Herald on Wednesday.
The New York congressman and head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee previously had talked up the prospects of Omaha City Councilman Pete Festersen, a Democrat, defeating incumbent GOP Rep. Lee Terry.
Festersen jumped into the race, but quickly jumped back out.
Israel said that he’s excited about Ashford’s candidacy and reiterated that Terry’s role in last year’s government shutdown should make him vulnerable this November.
But Israel said it’s up to Ashford to put in the effort.
“His work is what counts,” he said. “As long as he’s reaching out to his community and doing what’s required to do to raise a profile and satisfy his constituents, we’ll be with him.”
Israel downplayed any concerns about Ashford’s past registration as a Republican and as a non-partisan.
“There’s an unquenchable thirst for people who are not ideological but are independent,” Israel said.
So is Ashford as good a candidate as Festersen?
“Better, because he’s running,” Israel said.