LINCOLN, NE – Republican voters in Nebraska’s First Congressional District may face some confusion as they go to the polls to vote in Tuesday’s primary. And that has the Nebraska Republican Party (NEGOP) concerned.
On Friday, the Nebraska Republican Party issued an alert reminding Republicans that former Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s name would appear on the ballot even though he had resigned and suspended his campaign. So why would that happen? Because Fortenberry resigned AFTER the primary election ballots were printed.
The official statement from NEGOP Chairman Dan Welch says – “Republicans in the 1st Congressional District are encouraged to vote for a candidate in the primary for Congress,” “We want to be clear that while Jeff Fortenberry’s name appears on the ballot, he has resigned from Congress and is not seeking reelection. We are issuing this alert as a friendly reminder for folks who may not have heard that names on the ballot were finalized before his resignation.”
A total of five candidates are on the Republican primary election for Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District. In addition for Fortenberry’s name, voters will also see Mike Flood, Curtis Huffman, John Glen Weaver and Thireena Yuki Connely. Fortenberry resigned from Congress on March 31 following his conviction on lying to investigators regarding a foreign campaign donation. According to Secretary of State Bob Evnen, Fortenberry’s name had to remain on the May primary ballot because the deadline to withdraw had already passed. Before Fortenberry’s conviction, media attention had focused on Fortenberry and Flood. The Lincoln Journal Star‘s Don Walton described the primary as “the first bigtime GOP primary battle in the eastern Nebraska congressional district since 2004.”
Flood, from Norfolk, is a member of the Nebraska Senate – first serving in the chamber from 2005 to 2013 and elected again in 2020. Flood was also nominated by NEGOP to be the Republican candidate in the Special Election on June 28th to determine who will serve the 1st Congressional District to fill out Fortenberry’s remaining term, until next January. If Flood wins Tuesday’s primary, he also will be on the general election ballot again in November, running for a full 2-year term.
The 1st District is located in eastern Nebraska surrounding the outskirts of Omaha and including population centers like Lincoln, Norfolk and Columbus. The City of Wayne is NOT in the 1st Congressional District. While district lines have changed, Republicans have represented the 1st District continuously since 1967.