Lincoln State Senator Pansing Brooks Running for Nebraska's 1st Congressional District Seat

Nov. 15, 2021, midnight ·

Patty Pansing Brooks talks into a microphone in the legislative chamber with two men and other desks blurred in the background.
Patty Pansing Brooks will run on the Democratic ticket for Nebraska's 1st Congressional District in 2022. The district encompasses rural eastern Nebraska and cities, such as the Lincoln, Fremont, Norfolk, and Columbus areas. (Photo courtesy of Nebraska Legislature)

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Nebraska State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks has officially announced her campaign for Nebraska’s First Congressional District seat.

Pansing Brooks has been a state senator for the Lincoln area since 2014. She’ll be term-limited out next year and has set her sights on Washington for the First Congressional District of Nebraska where she’ll run as a Democrat. The district encompasses rural eastern Nebraska and cities such as Lincoln, Fremont, Norfolk, and Columbus. Republican Jeff Fortenberry has held the seat since 2004.

Pansing Brooks said healthcare will be an important part of her campaign.

“I want to make sure that we strengthen the Affordable Care Act,” Pansing Brooks said. “Americans shouldn’t have to be uninsured and unable to get the insurance they need, and then find themselves in dire straits, and possibly filing bankruptcy because they can’t get the insurance that they need.”

Pansing Brooks also points to getting more workers into Nebraska as a necessary focus of being the First District congressperson. Pansing Brooks said ensuring a robust infrastructure will encourage more people to live in Nebraska.

As a state senator, the 63-year-old Brooks supported legislation that aimed to combat LGBTQ discrimination, reform the juvenile justice system, and prevent human trafficking, among other issues.

Incumbent Congressman Jeff Fortenberry was indicted last month for allegedly lying to the FBI about where he received campaign funds. Pansing Brooks doesn’t plan to talk about Fortenberry’s prosecution during her campaign.

“I understand that Fortenberry’s facing prosecution and that they are very serious allegations, but I’m just going to let the courts make their own decision,” Pansing Brooks said. “I’m really going to be talking about his record in Congress on the trail.”

Pansing Brooks is critical of Fortenberry’s ‘no vote’ on a recently passed, bipartisan infrastructure bill that will provide billions of dollars in funding for Nebraska.

Primary Elections in Nebraska are May 10th, 2022 and Pansing Brooks is the first candidate to announce they’re running from either party.