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Nebraska Democrats Want to Dump Their Senate Pick

Female Chris Janicek staffer filed sexual harassment complain
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 16, 2020 2:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Nebraska Democratic Party called on its US Senate nominee to drop out of the race Tuesday after he made sexually repugnant comments about a campaign staffer in a group text with her and other staffers. The party said its state executive committee voted unanimously on Monday evening to withdraw all of its resources from Chris Janicek's campaign. Janicek, the owner of an Omaha cupcake bakery, is challenging Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, who is seeking a second term. Janicek accepted the Democratic nomination a little more than a month ago after winning a seven-candidate primary race, but the odds of winning in November were against him in GOP-dominated Nebraska even before his party withdrew its support, the AP reports.

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The text messages, which were obtained by the AP, were from a group chat involving Janicek and five other people, including the female staffer. At one point, he wrote that he had argued with her and then asked whether the campaign should spend money on “getting her laid." "It will probably take three guys," he wrote, before describing in graphic detail an imagined group sex scene involving the female staffer. He then tried walk back those comments as “a joke," and texted an apology to the group. The campaign staffer, who has since quit, filed a formal complaint with the party alleging that Janicek violated its code of conduct, which prohibits sexual harassment. Janicek says he doesn't plan to drop out of the race. He claims the party is targeting him because he disagrees with its more liberal activists on issues such as abortion rights and gun control.

(Read more Nebraska stories.)

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