Rep. Mike Flood and State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks face off in debate

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The two candidates in Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District debated on Sunday.

Rep. Mike Flood and State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks squared off at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Voters were able to submit questions to lead the conversation between the candidates.

Inflation was one of the first issues they covered.

They spoke about their ideas on how to keep money in the pockets of Nebraskans.

“We definitely have to look at our taxes and look at our property taxes,” Pansing Brooks said. “In the Nebraska legislature, I voted to decrease corporate taxes and income taxes. We must look at that, but that’s a federal and state-level issue.”

Flood pointed to congressional spending as part of the problem.

“We have to look at bills in Congress and say, ‘It would be nice to have that, but we can’t afford it right now,’ ” he said.

SEE ALSO: Watch full congressional debate

A question about abortion predictably showed a divide in beliefs.

“We, as women, should not have my opponent making these decisions about what will happen to our health care, our bodily autonomy and how we will move forward,” Pansing Brooks said.

Flood said he would support some exceptions to an abortion ban, such as cases of rape or incest, but opposes late-term abortions.

“That’s extreme, and that’s not where Nebraskans are, that’s not where Americans are,” Flood said. “That is out of bounds.”

The candidates also struggled to find common ground on guns.

“I believe in reasonable, commonsense gun laws,” Pansing Brooks said. “I believe in background checks. I believe in red flag laws.”

Flood made it clear that he was against any restrictions.

“I do not support infringing upon the rights of lawful Nebraska citizens, gun owners that want to exercise their right under the Second Amendment to own a gun,” he said.

Pansing Brooks and Flood agreed that the southern U.S. border needs to be a top priority in Congress.

“We need to make sure we are enforcing the law,” Flood said. “We need to pass a bill that makes illegal immigrants coming into this country remain in Mexico while their application is pending. We need to build the wall.”

Pansing Brooks said the process of letting people into the country needs to be improved.

“We have to make sure that our border is more secure,” she said. “We need to do a better job of recognizing and bringing people of value instead of dehumanizing and villainizing every single person that lives across our border.”

After the debate, the two candidates spoke about why they believe they are the right person for the job.

“I am somebody who works hard,” Flood said. “I have introduced and passed complex legislation. At the end of the day, I will put that experience to work for the people of the 1st Congressional District.”

Pansing Brooks said, “I feel like I was able to get across to the Nebraska people what the difference is between us and how I’m the candidate for the future.”

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