District 2 Republican candidates earn several opposing endorsements

April 22, 2024, 4:30 p.m. ·

Douglas County, Nebraska prepares for one of its highest expected voter turnouts in primaries history.
Candidate filing for the May 2024 statewide primary in Nebraska began January 5. The deadline for filing is February 15 for incumbents and March 1 for other candidates. (Photo by Grant Gerlock/Nebraska Public Media News)

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This story has been updated to reflect the additional and change of county endorsements.

Two familiar names will appear on the May 14 Republican primary ballot for to represent District 2 in the U.S. House: incumbent Don Bacon and former 2014 candidate Dan Frei. Each is gaining endorsements from big-name hitters.

Bacon has recently received support from Gov. Jim Pillen and other elected officials and community representatives. Bacon formerly had the support of the Douglas County Republican Party. Douglas GOP Chairman Chris Routh introduced Bacon at a press conference Monday, stating his support. At that press conference announcing more than 100 endorsements, Bacon discussed the division he has noticed within the Republican Party, as is made evident by the Nebraska GOP supporting his opponent.

“I don't walk through the tape in a race, I sprint. And we're gonna leave nothing for granted. We're gonna run hard. We’re gonna run a positive campaign,” Bacon said at a press conference announcing his endorsements.

Don Bacon stands in front of a podium at a press conference
Don Bacon hosts a press conference to announce his endorsements on Monday, April 22, 2024. Bacon has served as U.S. Representative from Nebraska's second congressional district since 2017. (Photo by Kassidy Arena/Nebraska Public Media News)

Frei was amongst those endorsed by the Nebraska GOP. This is the first time the state party has not endorsed any incumbents.

Frei also received support from the Sarpy County Republican Party as well as Saunders County. In a meeting that was not called by nor approved by Chairman Routhe, the Douglas County Republican Party announced a switch: choosing to endorse Frei instead of Bacon. This makes Frei the only candidate to have the endorsements of each county in the second congressional district.

“I'm very grateful. But I'm not surprised,” Frei said. “When you look at the Nebraska Republican Party and who makes that party up, it's people that are just fed up.”

Dan Frei poses for a photo with NE GOP Chairman Eric Underwood
Dan Frei poses for a photo with NE GOP Chairman Eric Underwood. Frei previously ran for U.S. House in 2014 against Republican Lee Terry. (Photo courtesy Dan Frei for Congress)

Nebraska’s second congressional district is made up of Douglas, Saunders and part of Sarpy Counties. Office holders and representatives from each of these counties offer the candidates a mixed bag of endorsements; some supporting Frei and others endorsing Bacon.

Some polls show Bacon has a lead over Frei with a small margin of voters still undecided.

As far as the perceived division, Bacon maintains his confidence that after the primary election, there will be some healing within Nebraska’s Republican Party as a whole.