Bacon wins fourth term in House, 2nd Congressional District stays Republican

Nov. 8, 2022, 9 p.m. ·

U.S. Rep. Don Bacon shakes hand with a supporter while smiling
U.S. Rep. Don Bacon shakes the hand of a supporter after he beat state. Sen. Tony Vargas to Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District. (Photo by Elizabeth Rembert, Nebraska Public Media News)

Don Bacon will return to the House of Representatives to serve the 2nd Congressional District for a fourth term.

The fight to serve the Omaha area in the House of Representatives is typically a tight competition, and this year was no different. Bacon secured the spot with just 51.63% of the vote, beating Democratic state senator Tony Vargas who got 48.37%.

In Omaha, Bacon’s election party of about 300 people kept the energy high throughout the night, cheering big for “red wave” lines and Republican wins in other local elections.

In a speech to his supporters before sending everyone home, Bacon said his edge demonstrates that voters want to cut government spending, prioritize public safety and restrict abortion access.

Bacon said Democrats killed their chances of winning an election by “worshipping at the altar of abortion.”

Bacon said Republicans were energized to vote to restrict abortion access. He has said he doesn’t support a full ban on the procedure, but would approve a 15-week ban.

The suburban and rural parts of the district carried Bacon to victory. He won 74% of the vote in largely-rural Saunders county and 65% of the vote in suburban Sarpy county.

But Vargas maintained a lead in Douglas county, which remains elusive to the Republican congressman. Bacon has never won the county that houses Omaha, and despite enthusiastic promises throughout election night, he lost the area to Vargas by less than a percentage point.

Vargas ran on promises to protect abortion rights, lower the cost of healthcare and invest in education.

The district is considered a swing district. In the 2020 presidential election, it was one of nine districts to deliver its electoral vote to President Joe Biden, while being represented by a Republican in Congress.

Still, the district leans Republican – the most recent voter registration data showed about 38% of registered voters are Republican, while about 36% are Democrats.

Bacon’s win protects a Republican seat in the House, as the party tries to steal control of the body from Democrats.