OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Alisha Shelton recently announced her campaign for Congress. Shelton previously ran for Senate in 2020 but lost the Democratic bid to Chris Janicek.
She says she's learned from her previous campaign and this time around she has more support behind her.
Shelton says she's running for Congress because Nebraskans deserve someone who will listen to them. She's running on a platform of health care, jobs, and access.
"I’ve been speaking with people across this district and what I have learned is everyone wants more jobs. We have to create high-paying jobs, access to quality healthcare services, including mental health services, and broadband internet services, so that’s why I’m running for Congress. I won’t forget this district. I'll keep them close to heart and take them with me all the way to Congress," Shelton says.
Shelton says her work as a mental health therapist gives her a different perspective on policymaking.
"I am an expert in mental health and I specialize in trauma. What that means is I can understand everyone and meet them where they are. I think that’s so important because when I write policies, I write them with people in mind not just the simple words on the paper. I think about the family who told me they had to pay thousands of dollars because they had a baby in the NICU. I think of those individuals and I hold them in my heart and take them with me," Shelton says.
Shelton also grew up in Omaha and believes her upbringing in the community gives her an insight into what the voters need.
She says politicians like incumbent Don Bacon, a Republican, have forgotten about the Heartland and adds that she'll be an advocate instead of a politician.
"When we needed [Bacon] most, he wasn’t here for us. When someone is faced with a crisis that's when their leadership skills will rise. I did not see that in Bacon. What we saw was he did not vote for shots in the arms. He did not vote for stimulus checks. He did not support the child tax credit that we just received. How could you do that when we were at the lowest of our lows? People were struggling," Shelton says.
For this election, Shelton has refused corporate PAC money to show how committed she is.
"I'm always going to be for whatever is going to be best for this community, what's best for Nebraska, and what's best for Nebraska is someone who can think clearly and level-headed without money dangling in front of them," Shelton says.
Shelton calls herself an everyday person and says if elected, she'll listen to her constituents when they need her.
Shelton would have to win the Democratic primary before she could challenge Bacon. Another Democrat, State Sen. Tony Vargas, has also entered the race. It's possible others could enter the race as well.
WEB EXTRA: Watch the entire interview with Shelton