Don Bacon (politician)

Don Bacon
Donald Bacon Official House Photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byBrad Ashford
Personal details
Donald John Bacon

(1963-08-16) August 16, 1963 (age 56)
Momence, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Angie Bacon (m. 1984)
EducationNorthern Illinois University (BA)
University of Phoenix (MBA)
National Defense University (MA)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1985–2014
RankUS-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General

Donald John Bacon (born August 16, 1963) is a retired United States Air Force Brigadier General and U.S. Representative for Nebraska's 2nd congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Education and military career[edit]

Bacon is a native of Illinois and grew up on a family farm that grew corn, soybeans, and hay.[1][2]

Donald J. Bacon.JPG

He attended Northern Illinois University and then gained his commission through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He specialized in electronic warfare, intelligence, reconnaissance, and public affairs, and served as a Wing Commander at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, as a Group commander in Arizona, a Squadron commander in Arizona, and an Expeditionary Squadron commander in Iraq.[3] Bacon has earned master's degrees from the University of Phoenix and the National War College of the National Defense University. His final assignment was as Director of ISR Strategy, Plans, Doctrine and Force Development, AF/A2, Headquarters U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon from July 2012 to 2014.[4] He picked up the nickname "Bits"—a reference to his last name.[2]

In 2015, at the age of 50, Bacon retired from the Air Force.[5] During his 29.5 years in the Air Force, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, two Legion of Merits, and two Bronze Stars, and was selected as Europe's top Air Force Wing Commander in 2009.[6] He served as an aide to U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry and as an assistant professor at Bellevue University.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Don Bacon (34914126053).jpg


Bacon ran for Congress in 2016 on four major issues: “addressing harmful regulations by federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Labor, reforming the tax code, addressing the national debt of nearly $20 trillion, and strengthening the military.”[8]

Bacon won the Republican Party primary election for the U.S. House of Representatives in Nebraska's 2nd congressional district in the 2016 elections.[9]

The general election race was characterized as a tossup, with Democratic incumbent Brad Ashford being seen as having the slight edge.[10] After the release in October 2016 of a 2005 videotape showing Donald Trump making lewd remarks to Billy Bush, Bacon said that Trump could not win the presidency and should withdraw from the race in favor of “a strong conservative candidate, like Mike Pence.” Bacon did not say, however, that he would not vote for Trump since he did not believe “Hillary is the right person. I'm in a quandary.”[11]

Bacon faced and defeated Ashford in the general election on November 8, 2016.[12][13] He received 49.4% of the vote to Ashford's 47.3%.[14][15] He is the only Republican who defeated an incumbent Democrat in the 2016 House elections.

In 2018, Bacon was reelected after narrowly defeating Democratic nominee Kara Eastman with 51.6% of the vote to Eastman's 48.4%.[16]


Bacon was assigned to the House Agriculture Committee.[17] He also sits on the House Committee on Homeland Security and House Armed Services Committee.[18]

He is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership,[19] the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus,[20] the House Baltic Caucus[21] and the Congressional Western Caucus.[22]

As of January 2018, Bacon had voted with his party in 95.7% of votes so far in the current session of Congress and voted in line with President Trump's position in 96.6% of votes.[23][24]

Political positions[edit]

Vote Smart Political Courage Test[edit]

Vote Smart, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that collects and distributes information on candidates for public office in the United States, "researched presidential and congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues." According to Vote Smart's 2018 analysis, Bacon generally supports pro-life legislation, opposes an income tax increase, opposes decreasing defense spending, opposes federal spending and supports lowering taxes as means of promoting economic growth, opposes requiring states to adopt federal education standards, opposes the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and government funding for renewable energy, opposes gun-control legislation, supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, opposes same-sex marriage, supports the construction of a wall along the Mexican border and requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship, and says the following about using military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a nuclear weapon and increasing American intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts beyond air support: "As a retired brigadier general with almost 30 years of service, my views on these questions cannot be boiled down to a yes or no answer. Many things must be considered before using military force or sending Americans into combat. I don't know a single military leader who actually wants war, including myself. We must work to ensure our enemies do not have the ability to attack the United States with a nuclear weapon. We must promote peace through strength."[25]


Regarding climate change, Bacon has said: "I don't think we know for certain how much of climate change is being caused by normal cyclical changes in weather vs. human causes. I support legislation that allows for continued incremental improvement in our environment, but oppose extreme measures that create significant economic and job disruption."[26] Bacon is a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.[20] In an American Family Association questionnaire from 2016, Bacon disagreed with the statement that "Governments should pay to develop wind and solar energy solutions until they are economically feasible." In the same survey, he supported "deregulating domestic oil exploration and drilling."[27]


In August 2017, Bacon and five of his House colleagues urged President Trump to allow DACA youths, also known as "Dreamers," to remain in the United States until some permanent solution could be arranged. "Children brought to the United States at a young age did not have a choice in the matter," the Congress members wrote the President. "They did not willingly seek to violate American statutes when they traveled with their families across our borders, as the alternative was often life without primary caregivers." He has said that he would "fight like heck so that people under DACA will never have to fear deportation again."[28][29]

In April 2016, Bacon re-introduced the Kerrie Orozco Act, which would "allow the spouses of first responders, killed in the line of duty, access to a quicker process of becoming an American citizen." He explained that it would "honor one of the heroes of the Omaha Police Department and help the surviving spouse, child, or parent of our brave first responders by allowing them to still get citizenship even after the death of first responder loved ones." The act was named for a first responder who died while her husband, Hector, was waiting for his green card.[30]


Brigadier General Donald Bacon, 55th Wing Commander, salutes the men and women attending his fini flight at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska

At a Brookings Institution event in October 2017, Bacon discussed the importance of military readiness, noting that at the beginning of his career U.S. Air Force crews had flown two hours to every one flown by Russia or China, but were now flying about one-third as many hours as they had then. "When you fly one-third of the hours, people get out because it's not rewarding," said Bacon. He also said that the "gravest threat" to military preparedness was the "partisan divide" in government, which had prevented necessary increases in spending.[31]

In addition, he pointed to the Russian threat, underscoring the need to respond to the challenge posed by both Russia and China in outer space as well as in cyberspace. Bacon considers a partnership with China possible despite its regional power ambitions, but says "Russia is an adversary" that is "working against our goals." He finds Russia's activity in Ukraine and the Balkans disturbing and believes in a stronger U.S. military presence in the latter region.[29]

In November 2017, Bacon told an Electronic Warfare (EW) conference that the U.S. military needed "to elevate the electromagnetic spectrum to an official domain of warfare - alongside land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace - and appoint general officers as EW advocates in all four services and to the joint staff." He said that when he was "a young EWO (Electronic Warfare Officer), there was no doubt we had the best electronic warfare capabilities in the world," but that after the fall of the USSR "we let it atrophy for a decade-and-a-half." It was now time, he said, to push the effort on this front "into high gear."[32]


Bacon has said that Barack Obama's administration has “underestimated” ISIS. “I hope we can be able to work with more of our traditional allies to go after ISIS.”[33]

Health care[edit]

Bacon opposes abortion after the twentieth week of pregnancy.[34][35] He says that care currently being provided at Planned Parenthood could be better delivered through community health care centers that do not also provide abortion services.[36]

Bacon favors repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.[37] He was supportive of the March 2017 version of American Health Care Act, the GOP's replacement plan for Obamacare.[38] On May 4, 2017, Bacon voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and pass the American Health Care Act, nicknamed "Trumpcare."[39][40]

Foreign policy[edit]

He is a steadfast backer of Israel, and supports the United States recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.[41] In an American Family Association candidate questionnaire from 2016, Bacon opposed the question "The U.S. military should wait for militant Islamic groups to directly threaten our national security on our shores, rather than eradicate them now wherever they may be worldwide." He said the U.S. needs "to defeat ISIS with assertive leadership, our superior airpower, and special forces."[42]

LGBT rights[edit]

Bacon opposes same-sex marriage.[43] He supports defining marriage as being between "one man and one woman."[44]

Drug policy[edit]

In the American Family Association candidate questionnaire from 2016, Bacon disagreed that "Marijuana should be legalized and regulated like tobacco and alcohol."[45]


In March 2017, Bacon voted to return jurisdiction over the internet to the Federal Trade Commission[46] by reversing an October 2016 rule that subjected online activity to control by the Federal Communications Commission. Bacon's vote was in line with the position of the business-oriented lobbying group the United States Chamber of Commerce on this rule.[47] Bacon opposed the continuation of net neutrality in the United States in support of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's repeal of Title II classification of ISPs. Bacon received $7,000 in campaign contributions from the telecommunications industry during the 2016 election cycle.[48]


Bacon voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Republican Party's tax reform legislation.[49]

Electoral History[edit]

Republican primary results[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon 32,328 66.0
Republican Chip Maxwell 16,677 34.0
Total votes 49,005 100.0
Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, 2016 [51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon 141,066 48.9
Democratic Brad Ashford (incumbent) 137,602 47.7
Libertarian Steven Laird 9,640 3.4
Total votes 288,308 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic
Republican primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon (incumbent) 33,852 100.0
Total votes 33,852 100.0
Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon (incumbent) 126,715 51.0
Democratic Kara Eastman 121,770 49.0
Total votes 248,485 100.0
Republican hold

Personal life[edit]

Bacon and his wife, Angie, whom he married in 1984, have four children and live in Papillion, Nebraska.[2][52]


  1. ^ del Guidice, Rachel; A General Joins the House’s Conservative Ranks as New Congress Convenes; The Daily Signal; January 5, 2017;
  2. ^ a b c "Citing military and foreign policy as priorities, retired Brig. Gen. Don Bacon announces bid for Congress". Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  3. ^ Don Bacon; Military Times;
  4. ^ "Brigadier General Donald J. Bacon". United States Air Force.
  5. ^ "Gen. Bacon set to retire". The Daily Journal. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "Biography". Biography. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  7. ^ Robynn Tysver / World-Herald staff. "Don Bacon is a 'fresh face' in politics but hardly a political neophyte". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  8. ^ de Guidice, Rachel; A General Joins the House’s Conservative Ranks as New Congress Convenes; The Daily Signal; January 5, 2017;
  9. ^ Don Walton/Lincoln Journal Star. "Retired general bids for Ashford House seat". Fremont Tribune. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  10. ^ Loizzo, Mike (September 26, 2016). "Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District Race Remains a Toss-Up". Nebraska Radio Network. Archived from the original on December 26, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  11. ^ Tysver, Robynn; Don Bacon says Trump should step down, but he won't rule out voting for him; Omaha World Herald; October 8, 2016;
  12. ^ Williams, Jack (November 9, 2016). "Bacon ousts Ashford in Second Congressional District". Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  13. ^ "Bacon wins Nebraska House Seat After Ashford Concedes". Politico. November 9, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  14. ^ "Nebraska U.S. House 2nd District Results: Don Bacon Wins". The New York Times. November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  15. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers" (PDF). Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  16. ^ "Nebraska Election Results: Second House District". The New York Times. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  17. ^ Morton, Joseph (January 11, 2017). "Don Bacon, who represents the mostly urban and suburban 2nd District, gets seat on House Agriculture Committee". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  18. ^ "Official Committee Assignments, 115th Congress". Office of the Clerk, US House of Representatives. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  19. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Climate Solutions Caucus expands to 24". Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  21. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  22. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  23. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron (September 14, 2017). "Tracking Don Bacon In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  24. ^ Willis, Derek. "Represent". ProPublica. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  25. ^ "Don Bacon's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)". Vote Smart. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  26. ^ Byrne, Michael (April 25, 2017). "Nebraska's Climate Change Deniers". Vice. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  27. ^ "Don Bacon on Energy & Oil". Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  28. ^ Walton, Don; Rep. Don Bacon urges Trump to protect DACA youths; Lincoln Journal Star; August 25, 2017;
  29. ^ a b Gilchrist, Logan; Don Bacon spoke at UNL seminar, students skeptical about his motivations; The Daily Nebraskan; October 19, 2017;
  30. ^ Don Bacon to re-introduce Kerrie Orozco Act; 3NewsNow; April 5, 2017;
  31. ^ Livingston, Ian; Reps. Don Bacon and Rick Larsen share their views on defense priorities and challenges; Brookings; October 24, 2017;
  32. ^ Freedberg Jr, Sydney J; Spectrum (EW) Should Be A Warfighting Domain: Rep. Bacon; Breaking Defense; November 29, 2017;
  33. ^ del Guidice, Rachel; A General Joins the House’s Conservative Ranks as New Congress Convenes; The Daily Signal; January 5, 2017;
  34. ^ Bess, Gabby; An Incredibly Upsetting List of All the New Republican Congress Members; VICE; January 6, 2017;
  35. ^ Tysver, Robynn (April 26, 2016). "Don Bacon is a 'fresh face' in politics but hardly a political neophyte". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  36. ^ Morton, Joseph (November 4, 2016). "Don Bacon denounces claims in Democrats' health care fliers, calls one attack ad 'very vile'". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  37. ^ Bureau, Joseph Morton / World-Herald. "Affordable Care Act repeal on fast track, but GOP replacement not yet in sight". Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  38. ^ The New York Times (March 20, 2017). "How House Republicans Planned to Vote on the Obamacare Replacement". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  39. ^ "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  40. ^ Staff, C. N. N. "How every member voted on health care bill". CNN. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  41. ^ Magid, Aaron. "Meet the 'Most Kosher Bacon' in Congress". Jewish Insider. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  42. ^ "Don Bacon on War & Peace". Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  43. ^ "Don Bacon on the Issues". Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  44. ^ "Don Bacon on Civil Rights". Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  45. ^ "Don Bacon on Drugs". On The Issues. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  46. ^ "Rep. Bacon votes to reaffirm FTC's Privacy Rules Process". House of Representatives Press Release. March 29, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  47. ^ "Here are the Facts. Congress Did Not Give Away Your Internet Privacy". United States Chamber of Commerce. March 31, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  48. ^ "The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them". The Verge. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  49. ^ "H.R. 1: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act". GovTrack. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  50. ^ Cite error: The named reference primaryresults was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  51. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers" (PDF). Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  52. ^ "About". Don Bacon for Congress.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Brad Ashford
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jodey Arrington
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jim Banks