Lindstrom, Thibodeau, Herbster Debate in Holdrege

April 26, 2022, 3 p.m. ·

Brett Lindstrom, Theresa Thibodeau, and Charles Herbster on debate stage
Brett Lindstrom, Theresa Thibodeau, and Charles Herbster on debate stage (NTV screenshot)

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Three of the leading candidates in the Republican gubernatorial primary debated Monday in Holdrege. Here are some of the questions and answers.

State Sen. Brett Lindstrom, former Sen. Theresa Thibodeau, and businessman Charles Herbster participated in the debate sponsored by NTV. For the most part, the candidates were asked identical questions, on subjects ranging from education to mental health. But during one segment, panelists asked questions tailored to the individual candidates. For Lindstrom, who is being criticized in television ads as not a true conservative, the question was what in his voting record other than cutting taxes shows he is conservative.

“Over my last eight years, I have been a strong supporter of pro-life. I’ve voted for every pro-life bill that’s come before me. I was endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life. I have supported every pro-2A bill that’s come out – that’s the Second Amendment. I have an ‘A’ rating from the NRA… I’m not sure why people are saying what they do, other than I can only think that we’re having a good showing. Any time you do that you tend to draw some fire, so I’m happy to draw that fire,” Lindstrom said.

For Thibodeau, the question was why she had dropped out of the race as Herbster’s pick for lieutenant governor, before entering as a gubernatorial candidate on her own.

“I saw a lot of chaos and disorganized (activity). And I didn’t see a lot of leadership. And quite frankly, with transparency and communication, it just wasn’t there. And as we moved down the road and those things could not become resolved, I decided to step out of the race,” Thibodeau said.

Thibodeau later added she thinks it’s time to elect a “tough female” as governor.

Herbster was asked how he could work with the current female state senators, all of whom have called on him unfit to serve following allegations that he groped eight women, including Sen. Julie Slama. Herbster has denied the allegations.

“I understand what happens when you’re leading in the polls and they want to take you down. I never hold a grudge, because as a born-again Christian, there’s two things that are necessary to live, and that’s to forgive, but more importantly, forget... I can work with anybody, even those individuals that have attacked me. I see no problem at all, certainly from my side,” Herbster said.

A fourth leading candidate, University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen, declined to participate in the debate.

To view the entire debate from NTV, click here.