Deb Fischer

Deb Fischer. (AP Photo/pool/Jeff Beiermann/Omaha World-Herald)

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry on Thursday endorsed Republican Senate candidate Deb Fischer, adding to her apparent surge heading into the final days of the GOP primary campaign.

Fortenberry's support followed on the heels of a high-profile endorsement of Fischer from 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Fischer's apparent momentum caught the eye of the Washington Post, which published a story questioning whether there might be "a Mama Grizzly upset in Nebraska" brewing.

Fischer, the Valentine state senator, has been transformed in recent days into Attorney General Jon Bruning's "biggest obstacle" in the May 15 primary election, the newspaper stated. 

Bruning, the acknowledged front-runner throughout the campaign, has begun airing TV ads attacking both Fischer and state Treasurer Don Stenberg, the third big name in the Republican Senate race.

The ad questioned Fischer's legislative record on taxes and spending, including a vote supporting a gas tax increase to fund road construction. Fischer subsequently won approval of legislation that would allocate a slice of the current state sales tax to roads.

Fischer quickly scheduled a news conference in Lincoln on Friday to respond to what she described as Bruning's "negative, misleading and desperate attack ad."

Fortenberry, the 1st District congressman, said Fischer would "bring principled leadership to Washington and work in a constructive manner, and that is what America needs."

Throughout her campaign, Fortenberry said, "I have not heard her utter one single negative phrase."

Reach Don Walton at 402-473-7248 or at


Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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