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Kara Eastman a day after surprising primary victory

Posted at 5:44 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 18:44:05-04

Tuesday night went down to the wire in Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District primary race between Brad Ashford and Kara Eastman, with the political newcomer claiming the spot on the ballot this November.

The race caught the attention of many national media outlets, including Newsweek, CNN and Politico.

Eastman says it was her grassroots strategy that won over democrat primary voters. She plans to continuing winning voters over one person at a time.

"I'm doing this because I'm passionate about healthcare, education, the environment, the economy," she said. "I'm doing this right now because i feel a sense of desperation for our country."

The morning after her victory, Eastman doubled-down on her commitment to grassroots campaigning. Eastman says her team knocked on 60,000 doors before last night's primary.

The political newcomer will take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Bacon this November.

Bacon did not have a primary challenger. His office says the congressman headed back to Washington D.C. after casting his vote in Omaha Tuesday morning.

Political experts say Eastman first needs to reunite the democratic party. Omaha World-Herald Washington D.C. correspondent Joe Morton says Eastman's left-leaning platform might have a hard time in the district.

"The national democrats had put their faith in Brad Ashford as the candidate who had better appeal to kind of the soft republicans or right-leaning independents, particularly in West Omaha," Morton said. "Now that a candidate that's much more to the left espousing policies like Medicare for all, a single payer approach to healthcare, we'll have to see if that flies this fall or not."

In the meantime, Eastman needs to get her name out to voters and fundraise to stay competitive.

She says the work is about to begin.

"I have a job I love but I really do think that I can get into congress and make changes that are going to actually help people in our district."