1st Congressional District: Dems Tab Pansing Brooks for Special Election; Farm Bureau Endorses Flood

April 5, 2022, 2:30 p.m. ·

State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln and State Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk
State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln and U.S. Rep. Mike Flood of Norfolk. (Photos courtesy campaigns)

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Democrats in Nebraska have named their candidate for the special election to replace Jeff Fortenberry in Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District.

The Democrats picked Patty Pansing Brooks to represent their party for the June special election. Mike Flood is hoping he’s the pick for the Republicans.

The vacancy in the 1st Congressional District follows Jeff Fortenberry’s resignation last month. Fortenberry was convicted of three felonies for lying to federal authorities and concealing information related to illegal campaign contributions.

The Nebraska Democratic Party's executive committee met Monday night to decide its nominee, and they ultimately decided on Pansing Brooks.

"We've got the enthusiasm – the energy," Pansing Brooks said. "We've changed the numbers in the district. We're going to do this. So I'm really excited."

Pasing Brooks address the media at a Tuesday news conference with party officials standing next to her and some video cameras in front of her.
Pasing Brooks address the media at Tuesday news conference. (Photo by Will Bauer, Nebraska Public Media News)

The state senator from Lincoln said she is all in on this race – and for all three elections, which include the primary, a special election and the general, too.

"It gives me another chance to get out and meet other people and to meet the people in the district and give them the reasons why they should vote for me," she said.

Another 1st District hopeful, state senator Mike Flood of Norfolk, picked up the endorsement of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Tuesday.

"I really think it is the seal of approval from Nebraska's farmers and ranchers," Flood said.

Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue speaks at a news conference. Mike Flood stands nearby.
Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue speaks a news conference at the state Capitol. Mike Flood stands nearby. (Photo by Will Bauer, Nebraska Public Media News)

The Republican Party has yet to name its nominee for the special election. Flood said he expects to hear the decision by the weekend.

"If selected, we'll work very hard to set up an office and represent the people of the 1st District while working to earn everyone's trust again in November in the general election," he said.

Another Democrat, Jazari Kual Zakaria, is challenging Pansing Brooks in the primary. Three other Republicans will challenge Flood: Curtis Hoffman, Thireena Yuki Connely and John Glen Weaver.

The special election will be held June 28th – after the state’s primaries. The winner of the special election will fill the state’s vacant seat in Congress until after the general election.