Terry returns to Washington for eighth term


November 6th, 2012

Omaha, NE – In Nebraska’s race for its Second Congressional District seat, incumbent Lee Terry beat challenger John Ewing for re-election by a narrow margin.

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Gaining his eighth term in Congress, Republican Lee Terry gained the victory by a margin of 52-48 percent, defeating Democrat John Ewing by about 8,300 votes. The race was not yet called just before 11pm last night when Terry addressed supporters. So he was not quite ready to claim victory, though he sort of let it slip.

“Thank you all for all of your support and your help. This victory, uh, our four point lead that’s held consistently through the evening,” he said to applause.

Congressman Terry speaks with reporters after his first debate with John Ewing. (Photo by Robyn Wisch)

Ewing, a former Omaha police officer and Douglas County Treasurer, ran a competitive race with Terry, despite lagging behind in fundraising. He received a surprise endorsement from the Omaha World-Herald, which had backed Terry for seven straight elections and closed the polls to a six-inch margin in the final weeks.

Speaking to supporters at Democratic headquarters in downtown Omaha, Ewing said his ultimate goal was more than winning an election. “My goal throughout this and my reason for running was I believed that the United States of America really needs to be the united people of America,” Ewing said. “Not be divided by party, not be divided by political action committees or being divided by all the things that divide us.”

“We need to be about what unites us, and that is our humanity,” Ewing said. “We are all children of God, no matter what the differences are and that’s what we need to remember.”

John Ewing hugs his wife Viv after the candidate’s first debate with Congressman Terry. (Photo by Robyn Wisch)

For his part, Terry said there’s much work to be done when he returns to Congress. He said Congress must balance the budget and deal with the fiscal cliff that looms at the end of the year. He also called for bipartisanship, pointing to Nebraska’s history of working together. “The one advantage that we have is that we work together,” Terry said. “Because when you look at other states delegation, they spend more time in-fighting amongst themselves, then actually getting things done for their state. The Nebraska delegation just isn’t that way.”

Terry will become Omaha’s longest-serving Congressman. After serving 14 years in Congress, he’s likely to get a seniority boost and possibly a subcommittee chairmanship when he returns to Washington.

In Nebraska’s First Congressional District, incumbent Republican Jeff Fortenberry cruised to an easy victory over Democratic challenger Korey Reiman. Fortenberry won with 68 percent of the vote to Reiman’s 31 percent. In western Nebraska’s Third Congressional District, incumbent Republican Adrian Smith also handily won re-election. Smith beat Democratic challenger Mark Sullivan by a margin of 74 to 26 percent.


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