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Trump calls for GOP challenger to take on Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon
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Trump calls for GOP challenger to take on Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon

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Here is a brief breakdown of Nebraska's senators and representatives in Congress.

Former President Donald Trump is calling for a "good and SMART America First Republican Patriot" to challenge Rep. Don Bacon in next year's primary election.

The former president issued the call in November, then highlighted coverage of the statement Wednesday by promising to back like-minded GOP candidates who would take on any of the congressional Republicans he named.

The list included Bacon, along with 12 other representatives and one senator. All had either voted for the recently passed $1.2 billion infrastructure bill or voted for articles of impeachment against Trump in January.

Bacon, who represents the Omaha-area 2nd District, was one of 13 House Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill. 

"Saving America starts by saving the GOP from RINOs, sellouts and known losers!" Trump said, using an acronym for “Republicans In Name Only.”

Bacon's campaign pushed back Wednesday, saying the congressman "has a strong record of delivering results for the people of Nebraska's Second Congressional District. Through his work on the Armed Services and Agriculture Committees, Congressman Bacon was rated in the top 20% in effectiveness for all members of Congress.

"While the former President is entitled to his views, our team will continue to meet with constituents and leaders from across the district and make our case for re-election. We look forward to helping Republicans take back the House and secure a majority in 2022," the campaign said. 

In a statement, Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts came out in defense of Bacon. 

“Rep. Don Bacon has served our country honorably, he has done a good job serving the 2nd Congressional District, and has earned their trust time after time," the statement said. "The Governor is proud to support him.”

So far, no Nebraska Republicans have taken up Trump's challenge. Two Democrats, state Sen. Tony Vargas and Alisha Shelton, have jumped into the race. 

Trump's list did not include all of the House and Senate Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill. Among those absent was Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer, who was among 19 Senate Republicans to vote for the bill.

Fischer faced censure from some Nebraska Republicans. Last month, members of the Dawes and Sheridan county Republican parties voted 23-3 at a joint meeting to censure her for her support of the infrastructure bill. Another rural county, Hitchcock County, passed a similar resolution.

Tony Storbeck, the co-chair of the Dawes County Republican Party, said that party members in the northwest Nebraska county felt that the infrastructure bill was filled with too much “garbage” in addition to needed road and bridge work and that it would exacerbate inflation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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