WASHINGTON — Nebraska’s Republican incumbents closed out 2019 by extending their financial advantages over would-be challengers.

Candidates filed their 2019 year-end reports Friday, revealing how much they have raised, how much they’ve spent and how much they have left in the bank.

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., reported raising $343,410 in the fourth quarter of 2019 and ended the year with $687,100 cash on hand.

In a statement, the second-term congressman said he’s grateful for the support of those in the district and thanked his campaign team for their work.

“With another strong quarter in the books and nearly 300 volunteers, we’re in a great position to win in 2020,” Bacon said.

Bacon represents Nebraska’s 2nd District, which includes the City of Omaha and western Sarpy County.

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A quartet of Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination to face Bacon in November’s general election.

They include Kara Eastman, who is seeking a rematch after narrowly losing to Bacon in 2018. Her campaign reported raising $203,582 in the fourth quarter and had $92,888 cash on hand.

Eastman said in a statement that those numbers position her well to take on Bacon.

“I am proud that while our contributions have come from all over the United States, Nebraska is by far the state with the most contributions, and my average contribution is under $40,” Eastman said. “This is truly a grassroots campaign.”

Her chief rival for the nomination so far, Ann Ashford, reported raising $88,529 in the quarter. That included a $35,000 loan from herself to the campaign, which ended the year with $68,453 cash on hand.

“This race isn’t about how much we raise, it’s about representing the diverse views from people all over the district,” Ashford said in a statement. “It’s about making sure everyone has access to our American democracy.”

Two other Democrats, Gladys Harrison and Morgann Freeman, also are seeking the nomination. Harrison reported raising $10,192 and finished with $17,050 cash on hand, while Freeman raised $284 and finished with $1,027 cash on hand and more than $3,000 in debts and obligations.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., represents Nebraska’s 1st District, which covers a large chunk of eastern Nebraska.

Fortenberry raised $162,135 in the fourth quarter, which included $57,664 in investment income and interest. His campaign ended the year with more than $1.9 million cash on hand.

State Sen. Kate Bolz, a Democrat, is seeking to challenge Fortenberry and reported raising $133,082. Her campaign ended the year with $75,191 cash on hand.

In Nebraska’s U.S. Senate race, meanwhile, incumbent Republican Sen. Ben Sasse holds a massive fundraising lead over all opponents.

His campaign raised $720,443 in the fourth quarter of 2019 and ended the year with more than $3 million cash on hand.

That includes thousands of contributions from Nebraskans to Sasse, who has been endorsed by prominent Republican officeholders in the state as well as President Donald Trump.

His Republican primary opponent, Matt Innis, reported raising $15,041 in the fourth quarter.

The Innis campaign finished the year with $3,881 cash on hand, with debts and obligations of $39,381.

In a statement, the Lancaster County businessman said he always knew he’d be outspent in the race but asserted that he sees support for his campaign.

Democrat Chris Janicek, meanwhile, is seeking his party’s nomination to face Sasse and reported raising $11,503 in the fourth quarter, including $5,963 in loans he made to the committee himself.

His campaign has $2,021 cash on hand.


Nebraska and Iowa’s members of Congress

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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