The two Republicans targeting Nebraska's only Congressional Democrat took shots at each other Thursday. Chip Maxwell and Don Bacon made their case on why they should be the candidate to challenge Brad Ashford in November.
It's the first debate between experienced politician Chip Maxwell and retired Brigadier General Don Bacon before the May 10th Republican primary, when voters will decide who the stronger candidate is to unseat Brad Ashford, one of just two Democrats who earned Congressional seats two years ago. However the debate hosted by the League of Women Voters was mostly an agreement on social policy. Maxwell: "I don't believe the federal government should be providing social services, it's not allowed in the constitution and we can't afford it." Bacon: "I want to make a difference, i want to make our country strong, my focus is rolling back a bureaucracy that's out of control."
The candidates also addressed immigration. "We cannot accommodate illegal immigration, we cannot reward it by allowing employers to hire illegal immigrants;" "You mentioned that immigration, illegal immigration flow has diminished, that's because our economy is sub-par."
While Maxwell and Bacon's political views are mostly aligned, they differentiate themselves in background. Maxwell the loyal Republican said "I have shown people as a county commissioner, as a State Senator, I've got scar tissue on me from battling Democrats and some Republicans." While the political newcomer Bacon said "I bring something to the table that other candidates in this race do not have, on top of that I'm the one person who knows every in and out of Offutt Air Force Base, our area's largest employer."
Maxwell has public ally criticized Bacon in the past for getting insider endorsements from the GOP establishment. While Maxwell talked about that in the debate, Bacon said he's been working 15 hours every day for a year, and his "insider endorsements" come from what he says is sheer hard work.