OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Following an article written by Aaron Sanderford for Nebraska Examiner in which Republican State Senator Julie Slama and seven other women accused Nebraska Republican candidate for governor, Charles Herbster of groping, kissing or inappropriately touching them, the candidate released a statement to the media.
The statement is published below, in full, without edits:
HERBSTER UNEQUIVOCALLY DENIES RICKETT’S POLITICAL HIT-PIECE
Statement by Charles W. Herbster -
“These libelous accusations are 100% false. For over thirty years, I've employed hundreds of people. I've respected and empowered women to run my company, my farm and now my campaign. Not once has my integrity EVER been challenged in this manner. It's only after I've threatened the stranglehold the establishment has on this state do they stoop to lies this large. This story is a ridiculous, unfounded dirty political trick being carried out by Pete Ricketts and Jim Pillen.
For nearly a year now, Governor Ricketts and Jim Pillen's campaign team have peddled this made-up story from one news outlet to another without any success. Now, with time running out, they've turned to a leftists news site to pick up and repeat their garbage. The fake-news story is based upon shadowy, unnamed sources and one person who was appointed by Governor Ricketts and her family has benefited from Governor Ricketts’ patronage for years. This isn't bad journalism - it's libelous fake news."
Additional Statement from Campaign Manager Ellen Keast:
“This isn’t a credible news story, it's a political hit piece that’s been rejected by credible news outlets for more than a year. Even the so-called “witnesses” refuse to go on the record. And the specific accusation itself is absurd and incomprehensible. To claim this interaction occurred in a crowded ballroom with more than 500 people present - and Charles table was in the front row? It defies common sense.
First, Ricketts and Pillen went after Charles' late wife, Judy. Then, they secretly launched and funded a dark money group to attack Charles. Now, they have taken their lies to the liberal media. The liberal website that published this garbage story is a sham news site funded by some of the largest liberal donors in the nation. Of course, they’d be willing to publish any rumor that Pete Ricketts and Jim Pillen push their way, regardless of the truth.
Our legal team is taking every possible action to defend Charles’ honor and reputation and hold those involved in the libelous smear campaign accountable.”
- Gov. Ricketts is very public about his personal vendetta against Charles W. Herbster.
- Rickets and his father admitted to funding dark money attack ads against Herbster.
- In 2018, Julie Slama served as Press Secretary for Pete Ricketts for Governor Campaign
- In December 2018, Governor Ricketts appointed Julie Slama to LD1.
- A couple years later, Governor Ricketts appointed Slam’s twin sister to be Sarpy Election Commissioner.
- Senator Slama’s husband, Andrew, also was appointed by Governor Ricketts to the legislature.
- Senator Slama alleges this incident took place in 2019. The allegation is absurd on its face. Charles was seated in the front row as a top sponsor of the event that thousands of people attended.
- One year later in 2020, she asks Charles W. Herbster for a $10,000 donation to her campaign.
- The following year, in 2021, Senator Slama and her husband personally invited Charles to attend their private destination wedding in the Dominican Republic. (See images provided)
- On January 22 of this year, Senator Slama sent an unsolicited text sharing her personal address with Charles so he could send her a wedding present.
- Slama joined Ricketts in publicly endorsing Jim Pillen for Governor.
- Slama’s Julie Slama's husband, Andrew LaGrone is recruited to launch a dark money PAC in the 2022 governor's race.