Challengers Emerge for U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith in Nebraska’s 3rd District House Race – Nebraska Examiner



Four contenders are challenging incumbent US Representative Adrian Smith for his congressional seat in Nebraska’s largely rural 3rd District. Two Democrats and two Republicans are seeking to replace Smith, a nine-term Republican who has represented the district since 2006 and has focused on lowering taxes and slowing the Biden administration. Some of Smith’s critics argue that he is more talk than action, and accuse him of being more focused on aiding corporations and donors than his constituents.

In Nebraska’s rural 3rd District, four candidates — two Republicans and two Democrats — are challenging nine-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith in the Congressional race. Smith, highlighting his record of pushing back against the current administration, advocates for lowering taxes and boosting trade.

Despite GOP opposition, Smith has consistently secured over 65% of the vote in every election since 2018. Yet, the emerging national trend of populism within Republican politics and internal disputes within the state’s GOP are bringing new challenges to his campaign this year.

Republican primary fight

John Walz, a populist candidate and Hastings discount-store owner, has garnered endorsements from the state party and many county GOPs. Walz criticizes Smith for supporting budget resolutions that keep the government running instead of forcing Democrats to negotiate real cuts. He also advocates for a more openly “Judeo-Christian” government and a tougher stance on abortion.

In contrast, Robert McCuiston, another Republican candidate, emphasizes the need to represent the common man, especially on tax issues. He accuses Smith of prioritizing corporate tax breaks and special interest groups over the needs of working people. McCuiston proposes term limits and a cap on the age of Congress members.

Both Walz and McCuiston, as well as Smith, have prioritized border security, a top issue among likely Republican voters. They also describe themselves as “pro-life.” Despite competition, Smith, with a significant fundraising advantage, remains a clear favorite to advance.

Two Democrats compete in the primary

In the Democratic primary, Daniel Ebers and David Else are challenging Smith. Ebers criticizes Smith’s lack of community representation and focuses on economic issues. Else, a corn and soybean farmer, voices concern about the impact of Trump’s tariff and trade fights with China on food prices, and champions Obamacare for self-employed workers. Both express willingness to compromise on abortion limits.


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