Offutt’s Retired Lt. Col. Joins Fortenberry’s GOP Challengers | Regional government
A newly retired Offutt Air Force Base Lt. Col. is the latest Republican to file for the congressional seat held by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry.
John “Glen” Weaver said running for political office gave him the opportunity to continue serving his country.
“We need a point of reflection and clarity in this country,” he said. “I want to bring decency and honesty to the neighborhood.”
Weaver, 45, retired as the 55th Wing command post chief. He served two stints at the base for a total of 15 years.
Weaver served 22 years in the Air Force and participated in 11 deployments, including to the Middle East and Southwest Asia. He has been in the field and participated in combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. His years in the military, national security experience and time in Offutt position him well to serve the district, he said.
Weaver is a resident of Omaha, which places him outside the boundaries of the 1st Congressional District. He said he intended to move to Bellevue, which is in the 1st arrondissement. House members are not required to live in the district they represent.
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Running against Rep. Don Bacon, a retired brigadier general, in the 2nd District was not an option, Weaver said, adding that the two agreed on many issues.
“He’s my winger,” he said.
Weaver will be competing against two well-established Republican political figures and two lesser-known candidates.
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A major political battle developed in the 1st District between Fortenberry and State Senator Mike Flood, former Speaker of the Nebraska Legislative Assembly.
Fortenberry was indicted by a federal grand jury for receiving foreign campaign contributions. These legal issues have raised the possibility that he has lost his starting advantage and is vulnerable in the general election. Governor Pete Ricketts and former Governor Dave Heineman endorsed Flood.
Thireena Yuki Connely of Palmyra and Curtis D. Huffman of La Vista are also running on the Republican side.
On the Democratic side are State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln and activist Jazari Kual. Republicans have held the seat since 1967.
The primary election is May 10.
In announcing his first candidacy for elected office, Weaver said he had no political ties.
“But I have faith in the American people and public,” he said. “I hope they see me for the genuine, hardworking person that I am.”
Weaver and his wife, Brianna, a physician at Nebraska Medical Center, have a daughter and a second child on the way.
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