Nebraska Senate hopeful who sent vulgar texts declines exit

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FILE – In this Oct. 25, 2018, file photo Chris Janicek pauses in Omaha, Neb. Nebraska Democrats endorsed a new U.S. Senate candidate on Sunday, July 19, 2020, in hopes of pressuring Janicek, their current nominee, to drop out of the race after he sent sexually offensive text messages to a campaign staffer. The party’s state central committee voted to back Alisha Shelton, an Omaha mental health therapist, if Janicek withdraws his name from consideration. (Kent Sievers/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Nebraska is doubling down on his promise to stay in the race, despite growing pressure to drop out after he sent sexually vulgar text messages to a campaign staffer.

Chris Janicek says he won’t withdraw from the race, and he blames the state’s top Democratic leaders for the party’s recent struggles to win statewide office in Republican-dominated Nebraska.

His comments came just days after the Nebraska Democratic Party endorsed one of Janicek’s former primary opponents, Alisha Shelton, to try to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse.

The endorsement won’t necessarily stop Janicek, however, because he already won the Democratic nomination in May.

State law doesn’t allow party officials to remove him from the ballot without his consent.

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