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Nebraska lawmaker announces Democratic bid for Congress, says Republicans bend to 'vocal minority'

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Democratic state lawmaker in Nebraska who unsuccessfully ran for governor two years ago is seeking a seat in the U.S. House.

Sen. Carol Blood confirmed Tuesday that she will run to represent the 1st Congressional District, which includes Lincoln and all or part of 13 counties in eastern Nebraska. She hopes to challenge Republican Rep. Mike Flood, who served in the state legislature with Blood until he was elected to Congress.

Flood was first elected to the seat in a June 2022 special election to replace former GOP Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, who resigned after being convicted on charges that he lied to federal agents. Flood went on to win the general election later that year, easily defeating Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks.

Blood was running for governor at the time, a race she lost to Republican Jim Pillen.

She will face another uphill slog in the 1st District race, which is considered a safe Republican seat by most election watchers and has not had a Democratic representative since Clair Callan was elected in 1964.

Blood, originally from McCook and a former member of the Bellevue City Council, said Congress is in disarray under the control of Republicans who “continue to stay in campaign mode instead of doing their jobs.” If elected she would focus on protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and passing a refundable child tax credit and competitive minimum wage to help working-class families, she said.

“I’m running because we can do better and bring back a strong voice in D.C. that represents all Nebraskans, not the vocal minority,” she said.

Blood has until March 1 to register her candidacy with the Secretary of State's office. So far no other Democrats have filed for the primary or announced plans to run.