(WOWT) - A man who’s hoping to be Nebraska’s next governor has the backing and support of a former president. But the current governor said he thinks “Nebraska deserves better,” prompting a
Charles Herbster announced his run for governor in April with former campaign manager and adviser Kellyanne Conway in attendance at the Fremont event.
Former President Trump released a statement Tuesday night saying “Charles W. Herbster has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” throwing in a good word for Ricketts after mocking Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse.
“Charles W. Herbster has been a tremendous supporter of America First and Make America Great Again, right from the beginning. He is running for Governor of the Great State of Nebraska and will do a fantastic job. A proud native of Nebraska, Charles is an extraordinarily successful businessman who will fight for our Farmers and Ranchers, support our Military and Vets, and protect and defend your under siege Second Amendment rights. With a Looney Tune Senator like Little Ben Sasse representing the wonderful people of Nebraska, it is particularly important that a great Governor (Pete Ricketts has been terrific!) be elected to help fortify the state. Charles W. Herbster has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
Herbster’s former running mate, Theresa Thibodeau, a former Nebraska state lawmaker and Douglas County Republican Party leader, recently told 6 News that
she was planning to run for the state’s top office after dropping out of his campaign in July.
State Sen. Carol Blood also announced her intention to run last month, making her the first Democratic candidate to enter the race.
Gov. Pete Ricketts, who has previously spoken in support of
NU Regent Jim Pillen for the race for his replacement when he terms out, responded to Tuesday’s endorsement from the former president, releasing the following statement:
“I have been a champion of President Trump’s conservative leadership and his America First agenda. While I agree with President Trump on many things, I strongly disagree that Charles Herbster is qualified to be our next governor — from his choice to headquarter his business in Missouri to his support of tax policy that would tax medical services, prescriptions, and food, as well as more than doubling our sale tax. Nebraska deserves better.”
Saying he was “committed to running a positive campaign,” Herbster issued a statement Wednesday afternoon in response to the governor’s comments, concluding with: “It’s a shame that Governor Pete Ricketts, also the head of the Republican party in the state, and his high-priced consultants, have launched negative personal attacks against me and President Trump.”
“As a fifth-generation farmer and rancher, my roots in Nebraska run deep. My love for the state and her people is boundless. I own businesses and employ people in five states, including Nebraska, and I’m proud of that.
As a lifelong Republican, I’ve defended and advanced the freedom, opportunity, and prosperity that makes America exceptional. I supported Pete Ricketts for governor, and I was there when President Donald J. Trump first announced his presidency at Trump Tower in 2015. I have remained loyal to the President.
Just yesterday, President Trump endorsed me to be the next governor of Nebraska. I am humbled and honored.
While my late wife and I were supporting candidate Trump in 2016, Pete Ricketts' family spent $7.5 million against Donald Trump and his America-First agenda. They buried the hatchet late in the game.
Yet now, Governor Ricketts is personally attacking me and President Trump's endorsement.
I will not get down in the gutter of petty politics and personal attacks. I will continue to travel the state meeting with Nebraskans and learning how I can help them. As the President Trump-endorsed next governor, delivering my vision for common sense tax reform; order on the border; the elimination of critical race theory in our K-12 schools, colleges, and universities; and securing the freedoms and opportunities that all Nebraskans deserve is my utmost concern.
I am committed to running a positive race in Nebraska. It’s a shame that Governor Pete Ricketts, also the head of the Republican party in the state, and his high-priced consultants, have launched negative personal attacks against me and President Trump.”
The state’s primary is set for May 10. Nebraskans will elect their next governor in November 2022.
6 News Digital Producer Taleisha Newbill, Executive Producer Katherine Wiley, and Digital Director Gina Dvorak contributed to this report. Copyright 2021 WOWT. All rights reserved.