Walz says women would be respected in Krist administration
Sen. Lynne Walz of Fremont, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, said Thursday the administration of Gov. Pete Ricketts is “out of touch with the women of Nebraska and indifferent to claims of discrimination and harassment” in state government.
If Sen. Bob Krist, the Democratic nominee for governor, is elected, “women will be supported, respected and harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated,” Walz said.
Walz held a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda flanked by several dozen women to pledge that a Krist-Walz administration would “make sure that allegations of sexual harassment in government are taken seriously.”
Walz pointed to several examples of alleged indifference to women’s concerns.
“I stand here today to not cast blame, but to offer contrast,” Walz said, “not to look backward, but to learn from the past and look to the future.”
Officials from the Nebraska State Education Association and the Nebraska State AFL-CIO expressed support for Walz during the event.
“We need more women elected who are effective advocates against discrimination,” NSEA President Jenni Benson said.
Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln said Walz is “someone I know I can trust.”
“We will not accept the ‘good ol’ boy’ system anymore,” Pansing Brooks said.
Among women’s issues raised at the event were pay discrimination, harassment in the workplace and the challenges of child care.
Asked her views about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Walz said: “I’m not here to talk about Judge Kavanaugh today.”
Responding to the Walz event, Ricketts campaign manager Jessica Flanagain said “this is another shameless attempt by a sputtering campaign to smear a respected man.”
In just the past year, Flanagain said, the governor “expanded maternity benefits in his agencies, directed all agencies to update sexual harassment policies and championed the strongest anti-sexual harassment bill in recent memory.”
Ricketts has also “prioritized improvements in service to Nebraska’s vulnerable women and children,” she said.
Women hold major positions in his administration and his campaign, Flanagain said, and the governor recently appointed a female Nebraska Supreme Court justice and a female state senator.