Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, NE-1

Serving Nebraska's 1st District since 2005.

Serving Nebraska’s 1st District since 2005.

Jeff Fortenberry has represented Nebraska’s First Congressional District since 2005. He serves on the Appropriations Committee.

Fortenberry served as an at-large member of the Lincoln City Council from 1997-2001. His first run for Congress came in 2004, after longtime Republican incumbent Rep. Doug Bereuter announced his retirement.

The five-term congressman would have seemed a natural to run for the open Nebraska Senate seat being vacated by Mike Johanns in 2014, but ultra-conservatives on the national level consider him not conservative enough.

His failure to pursue the extinction of the United Nations, Amtrak, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Legal Services Corp. may satisfy Fortenberry’s 1st District voters, but his moderate stances have led the right-wing to label him a “squish.” In a Senate race, he likely would have faced Republican primary competition from more extreme candidates, and had difficulty raising money from  such right-wing groups as Freedom Works and Club for Growth.

Fortenberry opted out the 2014 Senate race.

Like many of his Congressional colleagues, Rep. Fortenberry has his own  channel at youtube.com, where he has posted more than 200 videos. Unlike many of his congressional colleagues, Rep. Fortenberry allows the public to comment on his videos.

Jeffrey Lane Fortenberry is a graduate of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, La., where he was born Dec. 27, 1960.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Louisiana State University, a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan State University in Steubenville, Ohio, and a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Fortenberry is married and has five children.

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