Top three Republican Gubernatorial candidates raise nearly $20 million

Nebraska GOP gubernatorial candidates Charles Herbster, Jim Pillen and Brett Lindstrom
Nebraska GOP gubernatorial candidates Charles Herbster, Jim Pillen and Brett Lindstrom(10/11 NOW)
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2022 at 8:48 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Recent polling numbers show the three front-runners for the race for Nebraska’s Governor are in a near tie, but campaign documents tell a different story. One candidate is nearly self-funded, another is raking in donations, and the third with significantly less money, but recent momentum.

Charles Herbster, Jim Pillen and Brett Lindstrom, are the three candidates in the lead to win the Gubernatorial race. Since the start of 2021, nearly $20 million has been donated, or self-funded, among those three.

10/11 NOW took a look at where exactly that money is coming from, and where it’s going.

Charles Herbster has had a tumultuous few weeks facing allegations of groping several women, including Nebraska State Senator, Julie Slama.

Campaign finance data, which is available through the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission, shows between 2021 and 2022 so far, Herbster’s campaign has received $9,175,498. Around $8.9 million of that is from his own bank account.

In 2022, Herbster received just $65,000 in donations from individuals and organizations. The largest donations were $5,000 from Swain Construction and $5,000 from Save America, a PAC associated with President Donald Trump.

Jim Pillen has by far received the most donations. Since the beginning of his campaign he’s received $7,690,422, including $1,000,000 of his own money in 2021.

Campaign filings show Pillen has received donations from big names in the state, including $100,000 from Gov. Pete Ricketts and $4,500 from Tom Osborne. He’s also received large donations from businesses including Sandhills Global, Commodity Solutions, Morrison Enterprises, Wholestone Farm and JSMM Farms Partnership.

Pillen’s biggest expenditures include nearly $200,000 in TV ads and nearly $167,000 in consulting fees. However, FCC records show that his campaign bought $310,800 in TV ads in the Lincoln market alone.

Brett Lindstrom has raised less money than both Herbster and Pillen, coming in at just over $2 million in contributions in the last two years. None of that is his own money. His biggest donors are Nebraska business owners, including $1 million from Omaha businessman Steve Duggar. Data shows the Lindstrom Campaign has spent just over $1 million on ads, including $167,350 in the Lincoln market.

As far as how much money the three have on hand as of their latest filings, Pillen has the most at $4.1 million, Lindstrom has $1.4 million and Herbster has $543,000.

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