Charles Herbster may be walking in parades with “Herbster for Governor” signs, but the Falls City businessman isn't ready to confirm he's a candidate for governor in Nebraska.
Herbster, 58, the owner of a Kansas City, Mo., manufacturing company and a Falls City cattle ranch, declined Friday to talk about a potential gubernatorial race.
However, all indications are that Herbster — a Republican — will run.
He and his “Herbster for Governor” allies walked in both the Ralston and Seward parades on the Fourth of July. In addition, he and his fledgling gubernatorial campaign helped to sponsor an annual pancake feed that same day hosted by the Douglas County Republicans.
In a short telephone conversation Friday, Herbster declined to discuss his gubernatorial intentions. “I'll be making an announcement in a couple or three weeks,” Herbster said.
Herbster is one of several who are either considering or who have already jumped into the governor's race. The first was State Sen. Charlie Janssen, a Republican from Fremont. Democrat Chuck Hassebrook of Lyons also has entered the fray, and State Sen. Steve Lathrop, a Democrat, is traveling across the state, meeting with potential voters on a “listening tour.”
Herbster is reportedly putting together a campaign, and sources have said he has the potential to invest considerable sums of his own money into a race. He is said to be talking to Carlos Castillo, the governor's former campaign manager, about a position.
However, Herbster denied Friday that he has “signed a contract” with anyone to run his campaign.
He also denied previous reports that he hired former Rep. Bob McEwen of Ohio to serve as a political consultant. “McEwan is not being paid. He is a friend,” Herbster said.
So far, Herbster has not filed as a candidate for office with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. He would not have to do so until 10 days after he spends or raises $5,000 on behalf of his campaign.
If he decides to run, this would be Herbster's first foray into statewide politics.
Herbster is a fifth-generation Nebraskan who owns 4,000 acres of ranch land in both Nebraska and Colorado, including Herbster Angus Farms in Falls City.
In 1992, Herbster purchased the Conklin Co. in Kansas City, Mo. The company manufactures a number of agricultural products, including fertilizers, animal supplements and cleaning products.