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Trump-Backed Charles Herbster, Accused of Groping Multiple Women, Defeated in Republican Primary

Trump-Backed Charles Herbster, Accused of Groping Multiple Women, Defeated in Republican Primary

One would think that Donald Trump’s endorsement goes a long way. He won the state in 2020’s election by nearly 20 points. And Charles Herbster is deeply connected to the former President. In addition to being a mega-bucks donor to Trump, his campaign was run by Corey Lewandowski and Kellyanne Conway.

Charles Herbster, the Republican gubernatorial candidate for Nebraska, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, the U.S., on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. Launched in 1974, the Conservative Political Action Conference is the largest gathering of conservatives in the world. Photographer: Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump’s endorsement of Herbster was not without controversy. Like Trump, the agribusiness millionaire was recently accused of groping multiple women. Herbster’s opponent, Jim Pillen, had the backing of Nebraska’s Republican governor Pete Ricketts who had asked the former President to stay out of the race. And now Pillen has come out on top in the primary.

Trump, of course, was unable to stay out of the race. His power in the party is largely dependent on the strength of his endorsements. He also defended Herbster from the groping claims, saying during a rally, “I have to defend my friends, I have to defend people that are good. These are malicious charges to derail him long enough that the election can go by before the proper defense can be put forward.”

The race was close, with Pillen coming out on top by around 10,000 votes. A third candidate, Brett Lindstrom, won 25.8% of the vote.

As often happens when he backs a loser, Trump is unlikely to mention the race again.

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