Ricketts’ Wife Backs Democrat In Congressional Race

      Nebraska First Lady Susanne Shore has endorsed Democratic State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks over Republican Mike Flood in the June 28 special election to fill out the term of former 1st District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry.

       The announcement of the endorsement was made on Twitter by the Pansing Brooks campaign. Federal Election Commission records show she’s also contributed the maximum $2,400 to the campaign.

     Even though her husband, Gov Pete Ricketts, is a conservative Republican, Shore’s backing of a Democrat isn’t surprising for several reasons. 

     For one, the two women have been friends for some time, with a Pansing Brooks spokesman saying they both care a great deal about kids and have mutual admiration for each other.

      Also, Shore was a registered Democrat before switching to Republican to vote in the May primary where her husband strongly supported eventual winner Jim Pillen as the GOP nominee to succeed him.

     Records show that Shore is independent in her political support. She contributed to the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020, but also to Republicans George W Bush and Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.

    According to the website Open Secrets, her biggest contributions have, understandably, been for her husband – a total of $45,000 in 2013 and 2014 in his first campaign for governor. 

     Flood and Pansing Brooks were chosen by their respective party’s central committee as the nominees in the special election, then also won their primaries to become the nominees for a full 2-year term in November.

      The seat became vacant earlier this year when Fortenberry resigned after being convicted of 3 felony counts of lying to and misleading federal investigators in 2019 who were looking into illegal campaign contributions made in 2016.