Nebraska’s 2022 U.S. Congress elections see most candidates running per district since 2012

The filing deadline for candidates running for state or federal office in Nebraska was February 15, 2022. This year, 16 candidates are running for Nebraska’s 3 U.S. House districts, including 9 Republicans, 6 Democrats, and one Legal Marijuana Now candidate. That’s 5.33 candidates per district, more than the 4.67 candidates per district in 2020 and 3.67 in 2018. See the chart below to view data through 2012.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Nebraska was apportioned three congressional districts, the same number of seats it had after the 2010 census.
  • Incumbent Reps. Don Bacon (R), and Adrian Smith (R) are running for re-election in the district they currently represent.
  • Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R) also registered to run for re-election in Nevada’s 1st. On March 26, Fortenberry announced he would resign from Congress following his conviction on campaign finance-related charges. Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen (R) said it was too late to remove Fortenberry’s name from the ballot. Fortenberry has not yet communicated an unofficial withdrawal, so he is still counted as a candidate in this article.
  • The May primaries in Nebraska’s 1st will be open seat elections, but the November general election will not be. Nebraska’s 1st, where Fortenberry is resigning, will hold a special election in June to fill the seat.
  • There were no regular open seat elections in 2012 (the last elections after redistricting) or 2020. The last open seat regular election for U.S. Congress in Nebraska was in 2006 for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District.
  • The last time an incumbent was defeated in Nebraska was in 2016, when Bacon defeated one-term incumbent Brad Ashford (D).
  • This year, Bacon has one primary challenger and Smith also has one.
  • The 1st district, where Fortenberry is resigning, has the most candidates running with a total of seven candidates. Five are Republicans and two are Democrats.
  • No districts are guaranteed to either party. Both Democratic and Republican candidates have filed to run in all three districts.

Nebraska’s U.S. House primaries are scheduled for May 10, 2022. Candidates who receive the most votes in the primary will advance to the general election.

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