GOP Congressman announces resignation following conviction

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

 

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican from Nebraska, announced Saturday that he would be stepping down from the position he’s held for 17 years following his conviction on charges of having lied to the FBI.

On Friday, a jury assembled by a California federal court convicted Fortenberry on one count of concealing information and two counts of making false statements to authorities in connection with an investigation into his having received illegal contributions from a Nigerian billionaire.

Fortenberry, who called his trial unfair and promised to appeal, nonetheless chose to step away from representing Nebraska’s 1st District.

“Due to the difficulties of my current circumstances, I can no longer serve you effectively,” Fortenberry wrote in a letter to his constituents posted to his official congressional website. “I will resign from Congress shortly.”

In the same post, Fortenberry shared the letter he wrote to the U.S. House of Representatives. Fortenberry’s resignation featured a poem he said was found in Mother Teresa’s children’s home in India.

The poem, which speaks of the importance of doing the right thing and maintaining a Godly spirit even when faced with attacks from enemies, concludes with “In the final analysis it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.”

Fortenberry kept his remarks to Congress brief, writing only that he would resign effective March 31 and thanking his fellow representatives.

“It has been my pleasure to call many of you friends,” Fortenberry wrote. “My God bless you as you labor for the good of our country, help those in need, and strive for what is right and just.”

It is unlikely Fortenberry’s resignation will have much impact on the number of Republicans in the House. The 1st district has been solidly Republican since 1967.

Fortenberry’s worst performance in a general election was winning with 54% of the vote in 2004. In the elections that followed, he twice carried more than 70% of the vote and four times received greater than 60%. He was most recently reelected in 2020, capturing 59% of the vote.

“When I first ran for Congress, I said that I would focus on our national security, economic security, and family security,” Fortenberry wrote to his constituents. “It is my sincerest hope that I have made a contribution to the betterment of America, and the wellbeing of our great state of Nebraska.”

Fortenberry, who was up for reelection this year, was already facing challenges from within his own party.

According to Ballotpedia, there are four Republicans beyond Fortenberry seeking to represent the GOP in this fall’s general election.

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