Trump to campaign with Nebraska gubernatorial candidate accused of groping 6 women

Trump to campaign with Nebraska gubernatorial candidate accused of groping 6 women
Businessman Charles Herbster, a Nebraska Republican gubernatorial hopeful.Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg/Getty Images
  • Trump will campaign in Nebraska with Charles Herbster who faces allegations he groped six women.
  • The former president previously split with more establishment Republicans to back Herbster.

Donald Trump's political arm announced on Tuesday that the former president will campaign with Nebraska gubernatorial hopeful Charles Herbster, whose campaign is rocked by multiple assault allegations — including from a sitting state senator there.

Trump will rally with Herbster on April 29 at a local racetrack not far from Omaha. Trump's decision to endorse Herbster previously rankled more establishment Nebraska Republicans, but a report in which six women accused Herbster of groping them has upended what was already a contentious race.

Herbster, in an almost Trumpian flair, has strenuously denied all of the allegations, argued — without evidence — that his political rivals are behind them, and openly mused about filing defamation lawsuits. Trump also has faced 17 accusations of groping or forcibly kissing women. A spokesperson for Trump has not responded to previous questions about the former president's views on the allegations.

The Nebraska Examiner, an independent nonprofit news organization, reported last week that six women accused Herbster of inappropriately touching them. A seventh woman said Herbster, a businessman who made millions as a cattle breeding executive, kissed her without her consent. At the time, only state Sen. Julie Slama went on the record with her allegation that Herbster groped her. One of Herbster's allies responded by suggesting that Slama should disclose what she was wearing at the time of her alleged assault. She later did and slammed the response as evidence of why women generally don't come forward with such accusations.

On Monday, more people publicly came forward to support the allegations. The individuals told the Examiner, which bears no relation to the DC publication of the same name, that they were partially motivated by Herbster's response to the accusations.


"I think that's ridiculous," Edward Boone, a Nebraska legislative aide, told the publication of Herbster's denials that called the allegations "lies." Boone added, "because I've seen him first-hand grope a woman."

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, who is term-limited, has stood behind Slama and the other women. Ricketts, former Gov. Kay Orr, the first Republican female to be elected governor of a state, and Slama have all endorsed Jim Pillen, a member of the state board of regents. Orr previously called on more men to substantiate the claims against Herbster.

While Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District is one of the nation's most competitive, Republicans dominate statewide offices making the GOP primary the almost de facto general election. The primary is on May 10.