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Democrats continue push for US Senate candidate, Chris Janicek, to step aside

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jun 17, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Democratic Party called on the man who won their U.S. Senate primary, Chris Janicek, to step down from the nomination on Tuesday.

Several Democratic politicians and candidates followed the call after word came out of inappropriate text messages Janicek directed at a campaign staffer.

Janicek has refused to step aside.

On Wednesday, the two Democrats, both women, who finished behind Janicek in the Nebraska U.S. Senate race called on Janicek to resign.

“When women work together, I believe Chris Janicek will do the right thing and step down,” says Alisha Shelton, who finished third in the primary.

Angie Philips, the woman who finished in second place, formally endorsed Shelton, a black woman from Omaha, who polled just behind Philips in the May primary.

“I believe, especially with the Black Lives Matter movement, that Alisha is the right voice to represent Nebraskans at this time,” says Philips.

The Nebraska Democratic Party pulled all resources and demanded that Janicek leave the race after reviewing “sexually inappropriate comments” Janicek made to a campaign staffer.

Shelton, a mental health professional, thought right away he should step aside.

“It was very disappointing, it was very disgusting, it made me want to reach out and provide therapeutic resources for that individual,” says Shelton.

Janicek later told 3 News Now over the phone that his comments were in reference to a conversation he overheard earlier in the day, but that it was inappropriate, a mistake and he apologizes.

“So an apology is great to have but I think with an apology comes action. What is the action of the apology? That should be stepping aside,” says Shelton.

Almost every notable Democrat in the state has called for the resignation, including Terrell McKinney, who’s running to replace Senator Ernie Chambers.

“It’s important, not only for the women in this situation but for the state and for the party. To make sure that we’re placing somebody to run for that office that it’s in a good light and as of right now that’s not the case,” says McKinney.

Philips called for a boycott of Janicek's business, Cupcake Omaha, until Janicek takes his name off the ballot.

3 News Now again reached out to Janicek Wednesday via text message, and he has not responded.

Janicek has until September 1st to step aside and allow the Democrats to place another candidate in his place on the ballot to take on Sen. Ben Sasse.