Don Bacon Wins Nebraska Congressional GOP Primary

By Jeff Louderback
Jeff Louderback
Jeff Louderback
Jeff Louderback is a national reporter for The Epoch Times who is based in Ohio and covers U.S. Senate, U.S. House and gubernatorial races in Ohio and surrounding states.
May 10, 2022 Updated: May 10, 2022

OMAHA, Nebraska—Rep. Don Bacon (R) defeated businessman Steve Kuehl in the Nebraska 2nd Congressional District GOP primary on Tuesday.

With 61 percent of the districts reporting, Bacon received 81.77 percent of the vote while Kuehl received 18.23 percent, according to Decision Desk HQ.

During his speech at a rally in Nebraska on May 1, Donald Trump called Bacon “a bad guy” and offered his best wishes to opponent Steve Kuehl, saying, “Good luck, Steve, whoever the hell you are.”

Trump never issued a formal endorsement for Kuehl. He offered a shout-out to Kuehl because Bacon criticized the former president after the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol breach and voted for Democratic President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package.

Bacon was a U.S. Air Force officer before holding public office. He ascended to brigadier general and wing commander of Ramstein Air Base and Offutt Air Force Base before retiring in 2014.

He was endorsed in the primary by the Omaha Professional Firefighters Association, the Omaha Police Officers Association, the Nebraska Farm Bureau, and the Douglas County GOP.

Kuehl, an Omaha-based consultant, ran on a staunch “America First” platform but was a longshot candidate. Bacon is expected to face a stronger challenge from state Sen. Tony Vargas, who defeated mental health therapist Alisha Shelton in the Democratic primary.

Vargas was endorsed by the CHC Bold PAC, which is the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ campaign arm.

Before decisively winning the state senate general election in 2016 and 2020, Vargas served on the Omaha Board of Education from 2013 to 2016.

Nebraska has 93 counties. Only two–Douglas, which is home to Omaha; and Lancaster, where the state capital of Lincoln is located–voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Omaha, which sits on the Nebraska-Iowa line, has a population of 480,871.

Vargas, who would become the first Latino Congressman to represent Nebraska if he is elected in November, vowed to work with Republicans in Congress as he said he did in the state legislature.

“I’ve served on the Appropriations Committee, passing balanced budgets that also focus on people, on businesses, on our schools, and our healthcare. I’ve worked and chaired our planning committee,” Vargas said. “I’ve been in leadership in the legislature not because of anything other than the way I lead and the way that I operate.”

Bacon also touts his ability to work across the aisle.

In a May 9 tweet, he wrote that “I was just rated #12 out of 435 members for bipartisanship in the House. My Problem Solvers Caucus colleagues and I (28 Republicans and 28 Democrats) are committed to breaking through political dysfunction and reaching across the aisle to get things done. That’s how Congress should be.”

The Cook Political Report ranks the 2nd Congressional District general election as “likely Republican.”

Jeff Louderback is a national reporter for The Epoch Times who is based in Ohio and covers U.S. Senate, U.S. House and gubernatorial races in Ohio and surrounding states.