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Republican

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R)

Jeff Fortenberry Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-4806

Address: 1514 LHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (402) 438-1598

Address: 301 South 13th Street, Lincoln NE 68508-2532

Fremont NE

Phone: (402) 727-0888

Fax: (402) 727-9130

Address: 629 North Broad Street, Fremont NE 68026-4932

Norfolk NE

Phone: (402) 379-2064

Fax: (402) 379-2101

Address: 125 South Fourth Street, Norfolk NE 68701-5200

Jeff Fortenberry Staff
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Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Allen, Jennifer
Communications Director
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Allen, Jennifer
Communications Director
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Allen, Jennifer
Communications Director
Blum, Nate
District Representative
Capobianco, Christine
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Herman, Monica
Staff Assistant
Pofahl, Louis
District Representative
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Voorman, Katie
Legislative Correspondent
Wiltgen, Todd
District Director
Sheetz, Patty
Senior Advisor
Allen, Jennifer
Communications Director
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Wiltgen, Todd
District Director
Capobianco, Christine
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Cloutier, Diana
Senior Legislative Assistant
Voorman, Katie
Legislative Correspondent
Feyerherm, Alan
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Blum, Nate
District Representative
Pofahl, Louis
District Representative
Capobianco, Christine
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Herman, Monica
Staff Assistant
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Jeff Fortenberry Committees
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Jeff Fortenberry Biography
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  • Elected: 2004, 5th term.
  • District: Nebraska 1
  • Born: Dec. 27, 1960, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Home: Lincoln
  • Education:

    LA St. U., 1982, Franciscan U. of Steubenville, M.A. 1985, Georgetown U., M.P.P. 1986

  • Professional Career:

    Staffer, U.S. House Comm. on Ag., 1986; Research assoc., Gulf South Research Inst., 1987-89; Asst. dir., Baton Rouge Downtown Dev. District, 1989-92; Sales rep., Sandhills Publishing, 1995-2004.

  • Political Career:

    Lincoln City Cncl., 1997-2001.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Married (Celeste); 5 children

Republican Jeff Fortenberry, elected in 2004, has a reputation as a brainy policy expert who has evolved into a centrist. In the tradition of former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, Fortenberry also takes a strong interest in foreign policy issues. Read More

Republican Jeff Fortenberry, elected in 2004, has a reputation as a brainy policy expert who has evolved into a centrist. In the tradition of former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, Fortenberry also takes a strong interest in foreign policy issues.

Fortenberry grew up in Baton Rouge, La., where his father was a life insurance salesman and his mother worked as a 4-H Club extension agent. When Fortenberry was 12, his father was killed in a car accident. “It taught me a hard lesson that you wouldn’t want to wish on any other child—you have to figure out a lot of things on your own,” he told Esquire magazine. Fortenberry got the political bug early as a page to a Democratic state senator, but switched to the Republican Party after he graduated from Louisiana State University. He earned one master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, and then another one in public policy from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. (For a time, he studied for the priesthood but changed his mind.)

In 1995, Fortenberry moved to Nebraska to take a public relations position with Sandhills Publishing, a publisher of trade magazines for the trucking, aircraft, and computer industries. He later got into the sales end of the business. Fortenberry’s first foray into politics came in 1997, when he won a seat on the Lincoln City Council. He served for four years, focusing on neighborhood concerns and on increasing the police force.

When U.S. Rep. Doug Bereuter announced he would not run again in 2004, three candidates mounted competitive campaigns for the Republican nomination: Fortenberry; Curt Bromm, the speaker of the state’s unicameral legislature; and Greg Ruehle, a former executive vice president of the Nebraska Cattlemen Association. Bromm, a moderate who was endorsed by Bereuter, began as the front-runner. But he quickly lost momentum after a barrage of negative television ads financed by the Club for Growth, a national anti-tax group that supported Ruehle. Fortenberry, a social conservative, drew criticism from his opponents as a single-issue candidate, but his superior grassroots operation and fundraising carried him to victory. Fortenberry won with 39% of the vote, to 33% for Bromm and 21% for Ruehle. He won just seven of the 24 counties, but in Lincoln’s Lancaster County, which cast 43% of the votes, he got 52%.

In November, Fortenberry faced state Sen. Matt Connealy, a farmer from Decatur who sought to exploit Republican divisions—Bromm refused to endorse Fortenberry after the primary—and who characterized Fortenberry as a stranger to Nebraska farm issues, a potent charge in a state where 1 in 4 jobs is connected to agriculture. Fortenberry responded by promising to improve trade policies for farmers and to support ethanol development. His main message, however, focused on socially conservative themes: opposition to abortion rights, support of capital punishment, and a ban on same-sex marriage. Fortenberry won 54%-43%, losing only two American Indian reservation counties.

In the House, Fortenberry joined the Republican Study Committee, a group of the most ardent conservatives, but has moved over time to the chamber’s ideological center. He was one of just 37 House Republicans in 2011 to back a Democratic amendment allowing the Obama administration to list new species and habitats for protection under the Endangered Species Act, and he was one of 33 that year to support spending $10 million more for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. He also backed the 2011 compromise to raise the federal debt limit as well as the New Year’s Day 2013 budget deal aimed at averting the so-called “fiscal cliff.” And he was one of only a handful of Republicans who signed a Democratic “discharge petition” seeking to force a floor vote on the stalled farm bill.

In the 111th Congress (2009-10), Fortenberry joined a minority of Republicans who backed Democrats on such issues as compensating first responders for health problems from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a sweeping overhaul of food safety laws, and legislation to reduce lead levels in drinking water. He also praised President Barack Obama’s May 2011 speech outlining his approach in the Middle East and North Africa that conservatives panned. He notes that he and Obama both won Lincoln in 2008. “People here pride themselves on independence,” he told Esquire.

However, Fortenberry has remained a strong social conservative. He introduced a bill in 2011 to repeal the Obama administration’s contraception coverage requirements and allow religious institutions and small businesses to refuse to provide services that violate their beliefs. It drew more than 220 cosponsors, and his visibility on the issue in opposition to the president was enough to earn him a seat on the Appropriations Committee in the 113th Congress (2013-14).

Before joining Appropriations, Fortenberry was active on the International Relations Committee. He supported President George W. Bush on the war in Iraq, won House approval of an increase in visas for Iraqi translators, and got a bill into law barring U.S. assistance for governments using children as soldiers. In 2010, he got into law another bill to expedite permanent residency status for Haitian earthquake orphans adopted by Americans.

In 2006, Fortenberry’s first reelection campaign was against former Democratic Lt. Gov. Maxine Moul, who made the Iraq war an issue. Although her fundraising was competitive, Moul’s campaign did not catch fire in the district, which has not elected a Democrat since 1964. Fortenberry won 58%-42%.

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Jeff Fortenberry Election Results
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2012 General
Jeff Fortenberry (R)
Votes: 174,889
Percent: 68.29%
Korey Reiman (D)
Votes: 81,206
Percent: 31.71%
2012 Primary
Jeff Fortenberry (R)
Votes: 55,658
Percent: 86.39%
Jessica Turek (R)
Votes: 5,255
Percent: 8.16%
Dennis Parker
Votes: 3,511
Percent: 5.45%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (71%), 2008 (70%), 2006 (58%), 2004 (54%)
Jeff Fortenberry Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 48 (L) : 52 (C) 52 (L) : 47 (C) 54 (L) : 46 (C)
Social 34 (L) : 62 (C) 34 (L) : 66 (C) 44 (L) : 55 (C)
Foreign 34 (L) : 60 (C) 49 (L) : 50 (C) 52 (L) : 48 (C)
Composite 40.3 (L) : 59.7 (C) 45.3 (L) : 54.7 (C) 50.2 (L) : 49.8 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC9083
LCV2914
CFG4958
ITIC-82
NTU6668
20112012
COC88-
ACLU-7
ACU7273
ADA155
AFSCME0-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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