The woman responded with a lengthy message in which she discussed their work-related disagreement and then said of Mr. Janicek’s text: “As a woman who stands up and beside other women, I can’t just pretend this didn’t happen. I cannot support your campaign after what you said. I have integrity, morals and values but, most of all I have self respect for myself and fellow women.”
“I understand,” Mr. Janicek replied.
But after party leaders met with him on Thursday and pushed him to withdraw from the race, Mr. Janicek showed up unannounced at the staff member’s house, according to her lawyer, Mr. Powers. The woman was rattled, Mr. Powers added, and did not engage in a conversation with Mr. Janicek or accept his apology.
On Friday, Mr. Powers emailed Mr. Janicek to tell him not to contact the woman again or have anyone else contact her on his behalf, and urged him to drop out of the Senate race “so as to hopefully prevent any further embarrassment or anxiety.”
“We all expect Mr. Janicek to drop out shortly,” Mr. Powers said on Tuesday. “One has to be an optimist and an idealist to be a young staffer working on a statewide race for a Democrat in Nebraska. This has been a tough experience for my client. She wants to change the world, not to have to deal with this garbage.”
Mr. Janicek, a bakery owner, won the Democratic primary last month to challenge Senator Ben Sasse, the Republican incumbent. Nebraska is a solidly red state, and the race is not expected to be competitive.
Ms. Kleeb, the state party chairwoman, said the party had received a copy of the texts on June 5, the day after they were sent, and immediately contacted Mr. Janicek to set up a meeting. The meeting happened on June 11, and after party leaders asked him to step down, Mr. Janicek asked for a few days to consider it.
On Monday, he said he would not end his campaign, at which point party leaders voted to withdraw their support.