Cook: Toss Up
Sabato: Lean R
to the FM House Slate
to Tony's Campaign
“I’m ready to get to work and win this seat for Nebraska’s working families. I understand the challenges facing us right now because I’ve lived them – difficulty to afford housing, groceries, gas, childcare, & medical bills” (05/11/22, Twitter)
“My dad was a taxi driver and a factory worker. He did every job you can think of, just so that one day I could do a job he never dreamed of.” (4/25/22, Twitter)
“Politicians don't belong in doctor's offices making medical decisions. Women should make the decisions that are the best for them with their doctors. Today's ruling by the Supreme Court takes away an established right that protected Americans’ health and safety for nearly 50 years.” (6/24/22, Campaign Website)
BACKGROUND + EXPERIENCE
Tony Vargas has devoted his career to public service and is now running to flip Nebraska’s 2nd District from red to blue. In 2020, voters in this district voted for Biden (+6) but sent GOP incumbent Don Bacon back to Congress for a third term.
Vargas is a former public school science teacher and member of the Omaha Public School Board. He has served in the Nebraska Legislature since 2016. He was re-elected in 2020 with more than 75% of the vote, the largest margin of any incumbent lawmaker in the legislature. As a state senator for nine years, Vargas has developed a reputation for civility and getting things done for Nebraska workers and small businesses. He has successfully led passage of legislation to strengthen public schools, improve access to health care, encourage technology and innovation, and improve consumer protections.
As one of the first members of his family to graduate from college, Tony received his BA from the University of Rochester and a Master’s from Pace University.
ON THE ISSUES
Vargas’ website addresses specific issues that speak to his priorities as a potential House representative. These include:
Reducing the cost of prescription drugs
Increasing access to quality, affordable health care
Enhancing the public option for health insurance
Working for women’s right to choose
Protecting our democracy
Strengthening our public schools
Investing clean energy as both economic and environmental necessity
Providing for veterans during and after their service
In 2020, NE 02 was one of the only congressional districts won by a Republican that went for Biden, making this a true swing district. Democrats’ chances of holding the House may come down to flipping districts like this one. Though redistricting in Nebraska was led by Republicans and NE 02 is held by a Republican incumbent, the race has recently moved to Toss-Up by Cook. The district is a top target for Democrats to flip.. Vargas will face an unprecedented flood of outside money to his opponent from Republicans desperate to hold onto this seat. Tony Vargas will need to raise approximately $4 million to turn NE 02 blue.
• Vargas’ website lists endorsements from labor organizations including IBEW Local 22, UFCW Local 293, and SEIU Local 226.
• League of Conservation Action fund
• Sierra Club
• Latino Victory Fund
• Congressional Hispanic Caucus
• Elect Educators Everywhere
• Voter Protection Project
• Representative Linda Sanchez (CA)
• Raul Ruiz (CA)Former Nebraska Governor
• U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey