Unicameral women commend victims involved in Herbster harassment claims

Photo: Nebraska Unicameral Information Office

(Lincoln, NE) -- All of Nebraska's female State Senators release a joint statement in support of the victims who have accused GOP gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster of sexual harassment.

The following statement was released Thursday after the accusations were made public:

“We commend the brave women who have stepped forward to tell the truth about what they endured at the hands of Charles Herbster, including our friend and colleague, Senator Julie Slama. Sexual assault is despicable and damaging. This is not a question of politics—it is an issue of character and basic human decency. Charles Herbster’s behavior is completely unacceptable for anyone, especially someone seeking a public office of authority and trust. Herbster’s actions as outlined by the Nebraska Examiner render him unfit to serve.” - State Sens. Joni Albrecht, Carol Blood, Machaela Cavanaugh, Jen Day, Wendy DeBoer, Suzanne Geist, Megan Hunt, Lou Ann Linehan, Patty Pansing-Brooks, Rita Sanders, Julie Slama, Lynne Walz, Anna Wishart

The Nebraska Examiner published a report Thursday morning detailing the alleged incidents involving Herbster. The article cites reports from eight women, including State Sen. Julie Slama of Sterling. Slama released a separate statement just before noon Thursday about the incident:

“Today’s Nebraska Examiner report about Charles Herbster sexually assaulting me in 2019, when I was 22 years old, is true. I indirectly referenced the assault in a February 2022 floor speed in the Legislature and prayed I would never have to relieve this trauma. When the Nebraska Examiner contacted me about a witness account of my assault and the seven other women who shared their stories, I was not going to deny the truth. I am not seeking media attention or any other gain, I simply was not going to lie and say it did not occur. I would request my family’s privacy be respected at this difficult time.” - State Sen. Julie Slama

Thursday afternoon, Herbster released the following statement in response to the allegations:

“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." - Charles Herbster

The state primary election is Tuesday, May 10.

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