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Candidates for Congress say special election is helping bring in more donations

Both Mike Flood and Patty Pansing Brooks said they're fundraising historic amounts of money.
Both Mike Flood and Patty Pansing Brooks said they're fundraising historic amounts of money.(KOLN)
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 6:44 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The race for Congressional District 1, former Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s seat, has primarily narrowed down to the two candidates who will face off in the special election in June, State Senators Patty Pansing Brooks and Mike Flood.

10/11 NOW checked in on how fundraising is going for the two campaigns, which will both likely have to run in three separate elections.

Senator Patty Pansing Brooks told 10/11 NOW, she’s thrilled with how fundraising is going.

“We are feeling positive, people are engaged,” Pansing Brooks said. “Sometimes in a non-presidential year people say it’s hard to get people engaged, but they are. We’ve gotten over 4,300 donations, people are responding and we’re very excited about it.”

Her campaign has raised more than $480,000, about 70% more than what Kate Bolz, the last Democrat to seek the seat, had raised in the same amount of time.

“It’s remarkable in such a short time, but I’ve got to do more than that to be competitive,” Pansing Brooks said.

Pansing Brooks main opponent, Flood, has raised significantly more. He’s brought in over $717,000 in donations. Flood, was traveling Thursday and unable to do an interview, but provided a statement.

“I am beyond grateful to the Nebraskans who have donated to my campaign getting us to a historic quarter fundraising total,” Flood said. “I will continue to work hard to ensure this district has conservative leadership in Congress.”

Both candidates said the addition of the special election does add a unique element.

First, the expenses, both Pansing Brooks and Flood said.

“Certainly adding a special general election changes the pace of this race, but I’m confident that the citizens of this district are willing to donate their time and treasure to keep Nebraska values represented in Congress,” his statement said.

But, Pansing Brooks said it’s also led to more exposure.

“It’s gotten people more excited and engaged, it’s also getting more news because it’s so unique and different,” she said.

Flood didn’t comment on Fortenberry’s resignation when asked about how it’s impacted his fundraising and advertisement purchases. But, did he say “Throughout this race I’ve been focused on telling the people of the district about my background and priorities as a member of congress. I’ve been up on the air since early February and am glad to have positive ads featuring leaders like Governor Ricketts and former Governor Heineman helping to spread my vision.”

So far, Flood has spent nearly all of his money, $713,000 on media buys, including $107,000 on television ads in the Lincoln market.

As far as cash on hand, that’s where Democrats have an edge.

Pansing Brooks currently has $267,000 cash on hand. Flood has $195,000, but also owes nearly $215,000. Flood told 10/11 NOW they need new donors in order to keep on pace.

10/11 NOW also looked at Fortenberry’s filings. Before dropping out, he had raised $711,000. His campaign has spent $1.3 million, including $760,000 on legal fees.

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