State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks formally enters Nebraska’s 1st District race

By: - January 31, 2022 6:37 pm

State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks. (Courtesy of the Unicameral Information Office)

LINCOLN — State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks pledged to put “people over politics” on Monday as she officially registered as a Democratic candidate in eastern Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District.

“The numbers have changed in CD1 so I’m really optimistic about the ability to win this race,” Pansing Brooks said.

She was referring to the recent redistricting that added more registered Democrats to the 1st District. 

It remains a Republican-majority district, however, and no Democrats have represented the 1st District since 1967, after Clair Callen lost a re-election bid.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., is seeking re-election as he fights a federal indictment for allegedly lying to federal investigators. Another Republican, State Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk, has announced his candidacy, as well.

Pansing Brooks, 63, has served a central Lincoln district in the Nebraska Legislature since 2015 and is blocked, due to term limits, from running for re-election.

She is probably best known in the Legislature for her work on criminal justice reform and for helping close down the beer-only liquor stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska, which catered to the officially dry Pine Ridge Reservation across the South Dakota border.

Pansing Brooks said Monday that she wants to bring “the Nebraska way” to Washington, D.C., and “bring people back together and quit lobbing grenades at each other … and recognize that we’re a community, not each other’s enemy.” 



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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska state government and the state for decades. Previously with the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha Sun, he is a member of the Omaha Press Club's Hall of Fame. He grows hops, brews homemade beer, plays bass guitar and basically loves traveling and writing about the state. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.