If Pansing Brooks Wins Special Election, Ricketts Could Appoint Anti-Abortion Replacement

June 3, 2022, 2 p.m. ·

Patty Pansing Brooks speaks to the media from a podium as endorsers watch from behind
State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks speaks to reporters at Friday press conference. (Photo by Will Bauer, Nebraska Public Media News)

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If Patty Pansing Brooks wins the first district’s congressional race, Gov. Pete Ricketts would appoint a replacement, and that replacement could be another potential vote for an abortion ban in the Nebraska Legislature.

Pansing Brooks said on Friday that fact is "disconcerting." She said she would like to be at the legislature for every vote – like a special session to address abortion. Speaker Mike Hilgers has said a summer session depends on if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

A trigger abortion ban failed by two votes earlier this year, and a Republican replacing Pansing Brooks could help tip the vote in the other direction.

"We don't know what's going to happen," the state senator said. "There's no question that, depending on how they bring the bill, there could be two more people anyway who will support it and pass the filibuster. We cannot guess. I will be there fighting – clearly – if I don't happen to win in June, but we're talking about that we will be winning in June."

Pasing Brooks made the comments at Friday press conference where she and her campaign announced 60 endorsements from a variety of elected officials.

Her opponent, fellow State Sen. Mike Flood, also picked up an endorsement this week.

U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came to Lincoln Friday for a private Flood fundraiser at the Lincoln Country Club. The California Republican also campaigned in Beatrice Thursday night for U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska's Third District.

Pansing Brooks and Flood face off in a special election on June 28 to replace Jeff Fortenberry who was convicted of lying to the FBI earlier this year.