Democrats pick candidate, Republicans will pick this weekend in race to replace Fortenberry

WOWT 6 News Live at 6:30
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 9:39 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In the race to replace embattled Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, Democrats named their candidate for the special election Tuesday.

Republicans will pick their candidate this weekend.

“Many people may be surprised that I used to be a Republican,” said Patty Pansing Brooks.

State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks is a Democrat now and will be on the ballot for the special election in June to finish out Congressman Fortenberry’s term.

Fortenberry resigned after a California jury found him guilty of lying to the FBI over campaign contributions.

“We really do have the opportunity to flip this seat,” said Pansing Brooks.

Pansing Brooks, who lives in Lincoln, wants to break the Republican stranglehold of congressional District 1. A Democrat hasn’t held the seat since the 1960s.

“Our state has been under a one-party grip that has led to corruption,” said Jane Kleeb, Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party.

So who will Patty Pansing Brooks face in the special election? The Nebraska Republican Party meets Saturday to decide.

“Mike Flood is obviously the favorite. I know him very well, was speaker of the unicameral. He’s an outstanding guy who will represent us well,” said Rep. Don Bacon.

“I hope to earn their trust and be their nominee,” said State Senator Mike Flood.

State Senator Mike Flood of Norfolk only got into the race in January because Congressman Fortenberry had been indicted. He feared the seat could be lost.

“I’m running the campaign as though I’m neck-in-neck with someone. In my opinion, the burden is on me to introduce everyone in the first district and inspire them to vote for me,” said Flood.

Mike Flood and Patty Pansing Brooks say they are prepared for three elections this year.

The May primary, the June special election, and the general election in November.

The special election in June to replace Jeff Fortenberry’s term is the same day as his sentencing in Los Angeles.

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