Not too long ago, Democrats were crediting the government shutdown with helping them recruit Pete Festersen to take on a Republican incumbent in Nebraska.
[DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve] Israel had previously said the shutdown would “widen the path” to taking back the majority, and it appears that new path is beginning to take shape as Democrats, motivated by polling showing Republicans taking a hit from the shutdown, step up to run.
Israel mentioned in particular Nebraska’s 2nd District, where Omaha City Councilman Pete Festersen just announced a challenge to Rep. Lee Terry (R) and cited the shutdown specifically as part of the reason he’s running.
“Like most people, my frustration has grown by the day over the last month, with the government shutdown and the brinkmanship on the debt ceiling,” he told the Omaha World-Herald. “Change is needed. And I felt it was my responsibility to be that change.”
Festersen evidently doesn’t feel that responsibility quite as accutely now. Well that, or he sees what Obamacare is doing to Democrats all over the place. Today, he dropped out of the race.
Democrat Pete Festersen is ending his campaign for Republican Lee Terry’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Omaha City Council president told The World-Herald on Monday that he’s been unable to balance his work, family and council responsibilities with the demands of a high-profile congressional race.
“It is the right time for moderate, practical-minded people to make a difference, but I’ve determined it’s not the right time for me or my young family to run for national office,” Festersen said.
He said he made the decision over the weekend, after having discussions with his family. It comes less than two months after Festersen announced he’d take on Terry in the 2014 election.
And a little over two months since Obamacare’s rollout started blowing holes in every Democrat candidacy across the country.
How many other Democrats between now and the primaries will decide to spend more time with their families? Hopefully, a lot.
Update: When I write that Obamacare is blowing holes in Democrat candidacies, this is what I mean.