Former President Donald Trump suffered his first high-profile setback in the 2022 primary election season on Tuesday night.
Pillen enjoyed the support of term-limited Gov. Pete Ricketts but not Trump, who aggressively campaigned for businessman Charles Herbster.
With almost all precincts reporting, Pillen leads Herbster by 3.7%.
Shortly after Trump revealed his endorsement, Ricketts said, “While I agree with President Trump on many things, I strongly disagree that Charles Herbster is qualified to be our next governor.”
Eight women, including a Republican state senator and a GOP aide, accused Herbster of groping them late in the campaign.
The Hill further reports:
Trump appeared at a rally with Herbster earlier this month in a push to drag him across the finish line amid the growing furor over the sexual misconduct claims.
“Charles is a fine man, and he’s innocent of these despicable charges,” Trump said at the rally.
But in the end, it appeared that the sexual misconduct allegations and Ricketts’s support for Pillen proved too much for Herbster to overcome. Pillen now enters the general election as the overwhelming favorite in deep red Nebraska.
Herbster alluded to the allegations against him in his concession speech and called the primary “one of the nastiest campaigns” in Nebraska history.