Trump and friends to rally for Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Herbster amid scandal

By: - April 28, 2022 2:39 pm

Then-President Donald Trump visitsedNebraska on Oct. 27, 2020, to host a rally at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

OMAHA — Nebraska GOP gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster, facing groping allegations from eight women, is hosting a race track rally Friday with former President Donald Trump and friends.

The speakers are a who’s who from Trump world: Trump, Kellyanne Conway, who is Herbster’s national campaign manager, and David Bossie of Citizens United, whom Herbster has said is helping his campaign.

Others include Matt Schlapp, chairman of the Herbster-backed Conservative Political Action Committee, and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, who sat near Herbster at the Trump rally on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

Herbster will speak during the pre-program of warm-up speakers for Trump. That portion of the activities is scheduled to start  at 5 p.m. at the I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Nebraska, Herbster campaign spokeswoman Emily Novotny confirmed Thursday.

Doors open to the public at 3 p.m., with public tickets available on Trump’s Save America website. The campaign said it does not expect weather to affect the stop, although some forecasts call for potential rain and storms.

Herbster has faced criticism in Nebraska for suing and running a paid campaign TV ad against State Sen. Julie Slama, one of eight women who told the Nebraska Examiner that Herbster had groped them at political events and beauty pageants at some point during the last six years. The women’s accounts were corroborated by witnesses or people the women spoke to immediately afterward.

Slama counter-sued Herbster Monday, alleging sexual battery. Her lawsuit alleges he reached up her skirt during a Douglas County Republican Party dinner in 2019 and touched her inappropriately, without her consent. Herbster has denied wrongdoing.

Four other Republican women serving with Slama in the Legislature announced a fund Tuesday to cover potential legal costs for any women or witnesses who might come forward with credible allegations against Herbster.

Slama is likely to face criticism during the rally. Conway, like Herbster, has said the allegations are a product of Gov. Pete Ricketts and his favored candidate, Jim Pillen. Both denied being part of a conspiracy. 

Trump himself could be involved in Herbster’s response to the allegations, Politico reported Thursday: “The former president relayed word that Herbster wasn’t fighting back hard enough, backing plans for Herbster to hold a press conference aggressively denying the allegations and pushing back at his adversaries.”

Trump is expected to speak at 8 p.m.

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Aaron Sanderford
Aaron Sanderford

Political reporter Aaron Sanderford has tackled various news roles in his 20-plus year career. He has reported on politics, crime, courts, government and business for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star. He also spent several years as an assignment editor and worked two stints as an editorial writer. From 2005 to 2007, he served as communications director for then-Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman. Aaron most recently was the lead investigative reporter for KMTV 3 in Omaha, focusing on holding public officials accountable. His work has received awards from the Associated Press, Great Plains Journalism and more.