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'It's about a purpose and a mission:' Charles Herbster announces run for governor
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'It's about a purpose and a mission:' Charles Herbster announces run for governor

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Charles Herbster wants you to know about his roots.

The Falls City native has deep ties to agriculture and manufacturing. Herbster said you can find him at his farm when he’s in Falls City from sunrise to sunset.

He’s even beat Orion Samuelson, a retired American broadcaster widely known for his agriculture broadcasts, in a hand milking contest in 1998.

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FREMONT, NEB. - 04/26/2021 - Standing alongside former Senrior Adviser to the President Kellyanne Conoway (left) Charles Herbster formally declares he his run for governorship in the 2022 gubernatorial election at the Heartland Country Barn on Monday, April 26, 2021. Herbster officially announced his intention to run in Nebraska's upcoming gubernatorial election. He currently is set to run against Brett Lindstrom, Jim Pillen, and Michael Connely.

Those grass-fed roots embody Herbster. He made that clear when he announced his bid for the Republican nomination for 2022’s gubernatorial race on Monday at the Heartland Country Barn outside Fremont.

“We are going to fight for the best Nebraska we’ve ever had tax-wise, education-wise, immigration and all the things that are important to us,” he said. “I love this state.”

Herbster is the second person to enter the Republican gubernatorial race. University of Nebraska regent and former Husker Jim Pillen announced his bid for the seat earlier this month.

Gov. Pete Ricketts is entering the final stretch of his second four-year term as Nebraska’s governor. Ricketts assumed office in January 2015 and his current term ends in 2023.

Herbster operates Herbster Angus Farms in Falls City and is the owner and CEO of Kansas City-based agriculture and manufacturing distribution company Conklin Company.

He also carries close political ties to former President Donald Trump. In 2016, Herbster met with Trump as he prepared to enter the presidential race and later served as the chairman to his Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee.

Herbster said his friendship with the former president runs back to 2005. He said his loyalty to Trump runs deep.

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FREMONT, NEB. - 04/26/2021 - Supporters mill around as they wait for Charles Herbster to formally declare he his run for governorship in the 2022 gubernatorial election at the Heartland Country Barn on Monday, April 26, 2021. Herbster officially announced his intention to run in Nebraska's upcoming gubernatorial election. He currently is set to run against Brett Lindstrom, Jim Pillen, and Michael Connely.

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“Everybody said: ‘You’re going to run for governor? You have to take the Trump [license] plates off,’” he said. “And this is how loyal I am to the 45th president of the United States, I said: ‘If it’s the difference between being disloyal to President Trump or becoming governor of Nebraska, I will not be disloyal to the 45th president.”

Herbster even received support from Kellyanne Conway, former senior adviser to Trump, during Monday’s address.

“I know what is in (Herbster’s) heart: unconditional love,” she said. “Really for everyone around here, including the great state of Nebraska, where he and his family have been for many, many years.”

Conway said Herbster believes in “liberty and justice for all” and believes in keeping the good life great “for all Nebraskans.”

Herbster’s running mate, Theresa Thibodeau, also spoke in support of Herbster’s bid for the soon-to-be-vacant governor’s seat.

Thibodeau was appointed by Gov. Pete Ricketts to District 6 in Omaha in the Nebraska Legislature in 2017, replacing former State Sen. Joni Craighead. She ran for re-election for the seat in 2018, but lost to State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh in the general election.

“He knows how hard you work,” she said. “He knows what you do day in and day out. He has experienced it himself on the farm and in his businesses. He signs both sides of the paycheck.”

While meant to be celebratory, Herbster said Monday’s formal announcement isn’t about himself or Thibodeau. Instead, Herbster said his mission is to make Nebraska “an even greater state than it is.”

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FREMONT, NEB. - 04/26/2021 - A supporter of former president Donald Trump sporting a MAGA hat mingles with others as they wait for Charles Herbster to formally declare he his run for governorship in the 2022 gubernatorial election at the Heartland Country Barn on Monday, April 26, 2021. Herbster officially announced his intention to run in Nebraska's upcoming gubernatorial election. He currently is set to run against Brett Lindstrom, Jim Pillen, and Michael Connely.

“We know this is going to be difficult,” he said. “We know the system hates us. We know how it is in politics. We understand all of that. But we believe in the people in Nebraska more than all of that. It’s not about us, it’s about a purpose and a mission.”

In a one-on-one interview with the Tribune, Herbster said it may be difficult to see when he’s behind a suit and tie, but his passion lies in agriculture. He hopes to see that resonate among Nebraskans.

“I combine, I pull calves and I farm,” he said. “It’s my love. If you were to ask me what I would give up of all the various things that I do, the one thing I wouldn’t give up is my rural life in Falls City, Nebraska.”

Herbster said the decision to make a formal bid for the governor’s seat is fueled by the actions of the federal government since President Joe Biden’s introduction into office.

“Every governor in America, if they’re going to maintain freedom in their state, is going to have to push back against federal regulations,” he said. “There is no question in my mind about it.”

Charles Herbster wants you to know about his roots.

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