Nebraska Governor Hopeful Herbster Loses Running Mate

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The running mate for Nebraska governor hopeful Charles Herbster announced Tuesday that she's bowing out of the race, citing the time commitment required to campaign.

Theresa Thibodeau, a former state lawmaker and Douglas County Republican Party leader, said she would withdraw from the ticket.

Herbster had selected Thibodeau even though the state Republican Party hasn't yet held its primary election to name its gubernatorial nominee.

Herbster, an agribusiness executive and wealthy ally of former President Donald Trump, faces a competitive GOP field that includes University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen and state Sen. Brett Lindstrom. Former Gov. Dave Heineman is also considering a run. The candidates are seeking to replace fellow Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who is ineligible to run in 2022 due to term limits.

“At this time, I do not feel I will be able to devote the needed time to the campaign," Thibodeau said in a statement. “In fairness to Charles and his wonderful team, I want to thank them for their support, and wish them the best for a successful election."

Asked via email message to elaborate, Thibodeau referred back to her statement.

Herbster said he respected Thibodeau's decision and her devotion to her community.

“She is a great steward of conservative values, and I look forward to working with her in the future," he said in the statement.

Thibodeau, the owner of a day care and preschool in La Vista, was appointed to a seat in the Nebraska Legislature by Ricketts in 2017, but lost it in the 2018 election. She also has served as chairwoman of the Douglas County Republican Party, an area that includes the only congressional swing district in Nebraska.

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