Fortenberry To Resign From Congress

LINCOLN—(10/11 Now)—Nebraska First District Republican Congressman Jeff Fortenberry announced that he would be resigning from Congress Saturday after a California jury convicted him on all three charges in his federal trial.

Fortenberry’s decision comes after multiple calls for him to resign following his conviction Thursday on campaign finance violations and lying to the FBI.

On Friday, U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said he had his day in court and that if he wants to appeal the conviction he can do so as a private citizen. “I think when someone’s convicted it’s time to resign,” he said.

“Congressman Fortenberry’s conviction represents a breach of the public trust and confidence in his ability to serve,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “No one is above the law. Congressman Fortenberry must resign from the House.”

“The people of Nebraska’s First Congressional District deserve active, certain representation. I hope Jeff Fortenberry will do the right thing and resign so his constituents have that certainty while he focuses on his family and other affairs,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said.

Fortenberry has served in Congress since 2005 and is on the ballot for the 2022 primary.

Fortenberry’s resignation presents a confusing way forward to fill the vacancy.

Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen said under state law, 32-564, if Fortenberry resigns before Aug. 1, the governor is required to call a special election within 90 days of a congressional vacancy.