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Pansing Brooks, Flood win party nominations in 1st District House race

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Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk and Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln won their party nominations for eastern Nebraska's 1st District House seat Tuesday, setting the stage for a pair of upcoming battles between the two state senators.

They already are scheduled to meet in a special election June 28 to serve the final six months of former Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry's term in office and now will battle again in November after winning Tuesday's nominations to serve the following two-year term.

Pansing Brooks, a Democrat, and Flood, a Republican, were earlier chosen by their party governing bodies as nominees for the special election that will temporarily fill the House seat vacated by the resignation of Fortenberry following his conviction on charges of lying to the FBI about illegal foreign campaign contributions to his 2016 reelection campaign.

Flood, who returned to the Legislature in 2021 after previously holding office as a state senator for two terms from 2005 to 2013 and serving as Speaker of the Legislature for six years, is in the midst of a four-year legislative term.

If he is elected to the House in the special election, his legislative seat would be filled by a new state senator appointed by Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Patty Pansing Brooks, 5.10

Patty Pansing Brooks (left), the Democratic nominee for the 1st Congressional District, talks with Katie Taddeucci of Lincoln during an election night party Tuesday at the Happy Raven in Lincoln.

Pansing Brooks will complete her second four-year term at the end of the year and a new state senator representing Lincoln's District 28 will be elected in November to serve a four-year term.

If she is elected to Congress in June, the governor presumably could appoint a successor to serve the remaining six months of her legislative term.

Flood is an attorney and founder of News Channel Nebraska, a statewide media network that he formed after originally owning and operating radio stations in eastern Nebraska. 

ELN Mike Flood 5.10

Mike Flood speaks to supporters while his wife, Mandi, looks on during an election night party Tuesday at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln. Flood won the Republican nomination for the 1st Congressional District.

Pansing Brooks is also an attorney and has focused her legislative efforts on justice and human rights issues.

Because of election preparation deadlines, Fortenberry's name remained on Tuesday's ballot.

In metropolitan Omaha's competitive 2nd District, Sen. Tony Vargas won the Democratic nomination to challenge three-term Republican Rep. Don Bacon in the general election. Vargas represents South Omaha's largely Latino District 7 in the Legislature.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSdon


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