LINCOLN – Sparks are flying in the Republican Gubernatorial primary campaign. Governor Pete Ricketts has issued a statement in response to news of political candidate Charles W. Herbster’s repeated sexual misconduct:
“This is beyond horrible. Charles W. Herbster should beg forgiveness of the women he has preyed upon and seek treatment. Sexual assault is criminal behavior and should disqualify anyone from elected leadership. I encourage my fellow Nebraskans to respect, support, and stand with these survivors, who had the courage to tell the truth about what happened to them. These brave women have Susanne’s and my full support.”
However, despite accusations of sexual abuse, details first reported by Nebraska Examiner, Charles Herbster shows no signs of dropping out of the GOP race for governor and is firing back at his one named accuser, State Sen. Julie Slama.
While insisting the “libelous accusations” are 100 percent false, Herbster provides a lengthy list of “Background Facts” including his contention that in 2020, a year after Slama says Herbster put his hand up her skirt during a GOP ballroom event in Douglas County, she asked him for a $10,000 contribution to her campaign.
News Channel Nebraska’s examination of Slama’s state campaign records finds a $10,000 contribution from Herbster to Slama on December 13, 2020. Herbster also says in 2021, Slama and her husband “personally” invited Herbster to their private destination wedding in the Dominican Republic.
Slama has not been available for comment. Earlier Thursday, she released a statement that the report of Herbster “sexually assaulting me in 2019, when I was 22 years old, is true.” She goes on to say that she is not seeking media attention or “any other gain” and requests that her “family’s privacy be respected at this time.”
Slama was appointed to the Legislature by Gov. Pete Ricketts, who not only backs NU Regent Jim Pillen for governor but has said Herbster would make a “horrible” governor. Four months prior to Herbster’s $10,000 contribution to Slama, that same campaign report notes a $20,000 contribution from Ricketts to Slama.
Earlier Thursday all 13 women in the Nebraska Legislature—eight Democrats and five Republicans—all but demanded that Herbster drop out of the race.