Pete Festersen got right to the edge of the line, but in the end, the Democrat decided not to run against Republican Rep. Lee Terry in the 2nd Congressional District.
Festersen, who had made a trek to Washington, D.C., to meet with national Democrats, said the timing was not right, either personally or professionally.
A father of two young girls and an Omaha city councilman, Festersen said he preferred to stay in Omaha rather than go to Washington.
“There’s widespread dissatisfaction with Congress and its inability to address our nation’s challenges, and I continue to believe that we need people in Washington who can work together to get things done,” Festersen said.
“At this point in time, however, I’ve determined I can have a greater impact on my community by staying focused on being a father, a business owner and president of the Omaha City Council.”
Festersen’s decision sends Democrats back to the drawing board in their quest to find a candidate to run against Terry in the Omaha district.
Festersen had been considered one of the Democrats’ hottest prospects to tackle Terry, an eight-term congressman.
Festersen had been heavily recruited by national Democrats, who believed that the moderate, pro-business councilman had the credentials to win in the state’s only swing district.
Terry has faced tough competitors in the past several election cycles, with his most recent challenger coming within 2 percentage points of unseating Terry.
He is seen by many as being one of the most vulnerable Republicans in this election cycle. It is worth noting, however, that Terry has been seen as vulnerable for at least the past three election cycles.