Another Omaha Democrat is considering a bid for Congress in 2020: Gladys Harrison, the owner and daughter of the founder of the restaurant Big Mama’s Kitchen.

Harrison, 52, formed an exploratory committee this week to look at running for the U.S. House representing the 2nd District, which includes Douglas County and part of Sarpy County. Harrison said in an interview that she’s trying to learn whether it would be feasible for her to compete successfully in an election.

If she does jump in, she will face several others in the Democratic primary, including high-profile Democrats Ann Ashford and Kara Eastman.

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Ashford, whose husband previously held the seat, and Eastman, who was the 2018 nominee, have the advantage of their experience with campaigning in the district.

But the midyear fundraising report showed both lagging far behind incumbent Rep. Don Bacon, a Republican. And the state Democratic Party leader, Jane Kleeb, said donors were waiting to back either candidate until they knew if other candidates would announce a run for the seat.

Harrison is the daughter of Patricia “Big Mama” Barron, the late restaurateur who aimed to bring food and vibrancy to north Omaha with her restaurant and gained national notoriety in doing so.

Harrison said that at her mother’s funeral a speaker said Barron’s four daughters had the opportunity to “take her message of great food and fellowship and giving people second chances to another level.”

Harrison, an Omaha native, said her inspiration for this exploration is her grandson, Brayden, who is 3.

“When I see his face, 20 years from now, when he’s an adult, and he asks questions — when he asks me, ‘GG, what did you do back in 2019, 2020 when all of this went on?’ ”

All this, she said, meaning that the U.S. is at a pivotal moment in deciding its future.

“I want to tell him that I got involved. I, of course, exercise my right to vote, and I got involved by … exploring the possibility of me having the privilege of representing Nebraska for the 2nd District so that I could help bring everyone’s opinions to the table.”

Reporter - Politics

Roseann covers politics for The World-Herald. Before she came to The World-Herald in 2011, she covered politics for the Springfield, Mo., News-Leader. Follow her on Twitter @roseannmoring. Phone: 402-444-1084.

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