Flood says he will debate Pansing Brooks twice in Nebraska’s 1st District House race

By: - August 12, 2022 4:36 pm
Pansing Brooks-Flood

State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, left, is running against U.S. Rep. Mike Flood, R-Neb.this fall in the 1st Congressional District. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

OMAHA — Voters in eastern Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District will get at least one debate this fall, and likely two, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Flood said this week.

Flood responded to criticism from his Democratic opponent, State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, whom Flood beat 53-47 in a rare June special election to finish GOP Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s term. 

Fortenberry resigned in March after being convicted of three felonies related to illegal foreign funds raised for his campaign. Flood filed to run after Fortenberry was charged.

Earlier this week, Pansing Brooks said she had long ago accepted debate invitations from Omaha-based KETV and Lincoln-based KLKN-TV. Her campaign accused Flood of “stalling” for not agreeing.

Flood said Thursday that he intends to debate Pansing Brooks twice. But he said he wants to make sure 1st District voters in the Lincoln-area television market can see both debates.

“I’m very open to debating Senator Patty Pansing Brooks,” Flood said. “I want to make sure that people that live in Seward County, Lancaster County … in the Lincoln DMA (Designated Market Area) are served.”

Lincoln voters make up more than half of the 1st District. This is the first time for a new 1st District map that includes more of Sarpy County, which is covered by Omaha-area TV stations. 

Flood’s campaign confirmed that progress is being made but had nothing yet to announce. Pansing Brooks’ campaign manager, Chris Triebsch, said he was pleased to hear Flood is willing to debate but said it shouldn’t have taken public prodding.

“We will continue to press the case until dates have been agreed upon for debates, and we will watch to ensure that both Lincoln and Omaha television media markets have been covered,” he said.


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Aaron Sanderford
Aaron Sanderford

Political reporter Aaron Sanderford has tackled various news roles in his 20-plus year career. He has reported on politics, crime, courts, government and business for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star. He also spent several years as an assignment editor and worked two stints as an editorial writer. From 2005 to 2007, he served as communications director for then-Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman. Aaron most recently was the lead investigative reporter for KMTV 3 in Omaha, focusing on holding public officials accountable. His work has received awards from the Associated Press, Great Plains Journalism and more.