Just when you might have thought the fight between two of Nebraska’s richest Republicans, Gov. Pete Ricketts and Charles Herbster who is looking to replace Ricketts in the governor’s office, couldn’t get any nastier, it has.

A last-minute attack ad—Team Herbster calls it a “smear” job—paid for by a Rickett’s backed operation, rips Herbster as the “King of the beauty pageant circuit.”

And it doesn’t stop there adding, “Herbster joined pageants from Nebraska to Ohio to Bangkok, Thailand all so he could judge countless young women and teen-age girls. What Herbster did? You decide: Unusual, bizarre, or inappropriate.”

The ad, which finds Herbster pictured shoulder to shoulder with contestants, has generated a statement from Herbster’s clearly enraged campaign which says the ad is “lying to Nebraskans” and includes this quote attributed to Sarah Rose Summers, Miss USA 2018:

"As the first Miss USA from Nebraska, I take great pride in the Midwest friendliness of my home state. It has been brought to my attention that my photo is being used in a smear campaign against a friend of mine who has been nothing short of supportive of my husband and me. This type of ad is simply not the Nebraska way.”

The ad, paid for by “Conservative Nebraska” puts Ricketts right in the middle as Ricketts—who is backing NU Regent Jim Pillen against both Herbster and State Sen. Brett Lindstrom—recently and unapologetically acknowledged, “I have contributed to Conservative Nebraska.”

This latest ad follows accusations that Herbster groped eight women, two who have come out publicly including State Sen. Julie Slama. 

Herbster has repeatedly denied the accusations insisting he’s being targeted by the political establishment led by Ricketts and Pillen.

Ricketts says, "I believe Julie Slama." He's also said Herbster needs to get "help" and drop out of the race.

The GOP primary is Tuesday.