Ricketts Endorses Pillen In GOP Gov’s Race


      Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has formally endorsed University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen as his successor in the Republican primary. Pillen is a family farm owner and veterinarian who grew up in Nebraska and played football for the Huskers.

     The endorsement was expected because Ricketts has made joint appearances with Pillen in recent weeks and blasted Charles Herbster of Falls City, one of Pillen’s top competitors and endorsed by Donald Trump, as unqualified to be governor.

       Ricketts made his announcement just ahead of joining Pillen and fellow former Gov Kay Orr and a 4-city campaign swing.

     . Ricketts says he backed Pillen because of his conservative credentials and longstanding ties to Nebraska and agriculture, adding that pillen has consistently shown he’s a leader of principle and integrity

     Pillen says he’s honored to have the endorsement and looking forward to “building upon Gov Ricketts’ work providing tax relief, growing Nebraska, making state government run more like a business, and protecting our freedoms. 

     Herbster, also a farmer/rancher as well owner of a manufacturing company, wasted no time in criticizing Ricketts’ endorsement – saying the incumbent “should focus on the needs of Nebraska, not hand-picking his successor.”

       Herbster again attacked Pillen’s work as a regent, describing it as “disappointing” that Ricketts is supporting a candidate “who failed to stop Critical Race Theory from seeping into public universities, then voted to fund it with taxpayers dollars.”

       He also said Pillen has a weak record on illegal immigration and has admitted to polluting the state’s “most precious resource” as part of his ag operations. Herbster proudly pointed to his ties to Trump, saying he’s running for governor because Nebraska needs a true conservative leader to carry on the America First agenda.        Another of the candidates, former State Senator Theresa Thibodeau also blasted Pillen, saying he’s “solidified his place as an unqualified candidate and ineffective elected official” who as a regent has failed to protect conservative students or stop Critical Race Theory but has given $25,000 to the state’s biggest liberal education lobby