Kara Eastman portrait

After narrowly losing the 2nd District race to Don Bacon then announcing she’ll run again, she’s starting Kara Eastman Partners with Dave Pantos, her campaign finance director. Their focus will primarily be on helping nonprofit organizations.

WASHINGTON — Kara Eastman is launching a new business.

Eastman stepped down last year as head of the nonprofit organization Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance after she won the Democratic primary for Nebraska’s 2nd District.

She went on to narrowly lose the general election to Republican incumbent Rep. Don Bacon, but has already announced that she will try again for the Omaha-based seat in 2020.

In the meantime, she’s starting “a campaign and nonprofit consulting company” called Kara Eastman Partners, along with Dave Pantos, who is her campaign finance director.

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Eastman noted that the two of them have served together on both the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands board and the Metro Community College board.

“Collectively we’ve got 40 years of experience in nonprofit, in campaigns, and the more that we were talking to people out in the community the more we saw that there was a need for people who could help with strategic planning, program development, campaign development, fund development,” Eastman said.

Eastman said the bulk of the business will involve helping nonprofit organizations. They will have some political candidates as clients but don’t expect to be raising money or providing messaging guidance.

Rather, they’ll be focused on sharing some lessons they learned from their own experiences.

On the campaign side, Eastman said that Pantos will again serve as her finance director but that other staff positions still have to be determined.

Her 2018 campaign manager, Ben Onkka, is married to Crystal Rhoades, who serves on the Public Service Commission.

Eastman suggested that the couple will be focused on Rhoades’ re-election campaign.

Eastman’s new business will represent her full-time job. She expressed confidence that she will be able to juggle both the new business and her own congressional campaign.

“I am one of those people who is running for Congress but also needs a paycheck,” Eastman said.

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Reporter - Politics/Washington D.C.

Joseph Morton is The World-Herald Washington Bureau Chief. Morton joined The World-Herald in 1999 and has been reporting from Washington for the newspaper since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @MortonOWH. Email:joseph.morton@owh.com

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