Former Douglas County Republican Party chairman Glenn Freeman is the latest GOP candidate to launch a campaign against Nebraska U.S. Rep. Lee Terry.
He's now one of three Republicans challenging the incumbent Terry for the Omaha-based 2nd Congressional District. Two Democrats also are running.
On Thursday, Freeman said the congressman represents his constituents' interests poorly.
“I'm running because we do not have the best representation,” he said. “I would characterize it as a joke. We are the laughingstock in Congress.”
In particular, he disagrees with Terry's push to speed up President Obama's approval or denial of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, which was folded into a payroll tax cut extension that Freeman says could harm Social Security, and for pushing legislation that would have made it easier for people to receive autodialed, prerecorded messages on their cellphones. Terry dropped that bill last month, saying he never intended for people to receive unwanted calls.
“These are the ridiculous things he puts out and no one pays any attention,” said Freeman.
Terry campaign manager David Boomer defended his boss's record.
The pipeline project, Boomer said, would create thousands of new jobs. He said Terry has voted to cut federal spending 157 times. If not for U.S. Senate Democrats blocking Republican efforts in the House, Boomer said, the federal government would be spending less.
“We're confident of our position coming into the election year,” he said. “Lee has an outstanding record of accomplishments that we will take to the voters.”
Freeman, who spent 30 years in the Air Force before retiring as a master sergeant in 1985, announced his campaign Thursday. He served on the staff of U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel. And he was the first African-American elected chairman of the county GOP, a position he held from 1993 to 1995.
The other Republicans challenging Terry are Jack Heidel, a University of Nebraska at Omaha math professor, and Brett Lindstrom, a financial adviser.
The primary is May 15.
Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing Jr. and State Sen. Gwen Howard of Omaha will square off in the 2nd District Democratic primary.
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