Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Krist’s running mate charges Governor Ricketts’ administration doesn’t take women seriously.
State Senator Lynne Walz of Fremont says a Krist/Walz administration would protect women from workplace harassment and discrimination.
“In the Krist/Walz administration, women will be supported, respected, and harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated,” according to Walz. “Unfortunately, under the Ricketts administration, this has not always been the case. Time and again, the Ricketts administration has been out of touch with the women of Nebraska and indifferent to claims of discrimination and harassment.”
Walz gives three examples she claims backs her assertion. Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Max Kelch, appointed by Gov. Ricketts, resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate workplace behavior arose. Ricketts fired a former administrative assistant claiming budget cuts led to the elimination of the position, only to be replaced by a younger woman. Ricketts’ Nebraska State Patrol Superintendent Brad Rice was fired for exerting inappropriate influence over internal affairs investigations. An internal investigation by the Ricketts Administration faulted the patrol’s sexual harassment and workplace harassment policies and accused the patrol of failing to address charges of misconduct.
Walz claims Ricketts isn’t just out of touch with women, but with all Nebraskans.
“Again, one of the reasons I’m so excited about running for this office is the fact that when people tell us there might be a problem we’re going to listen to them,” Walz tells reporters during a Capitol news conference.
Ricketts Campaign Manager Jessica Flanagain flatly rejects the criticism, insisting the governor has done much to improve the lives of women.
“When women like Lynne Walz take political pot shots at men like Gov. Ricketts, it undermines the serious issues of women’s equality and harassment,” Flanagain tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Flanagain questions the timing of the news conference, saying it appears to be taking advantage of the controversary swirling in Washington, D.C. about the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. A vote in the Senate was held up so the FBI could investigate charges of sexual misconduct leveled against Kavanaugh.
Flanagain says the governor appointed Kelch to the Supreme Court on the recommendation of the Judicial Nominating Commission. Flanagain says Ricketts acted against Rice after investigating allegations of misconduct.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]