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Chris Janicek campaign sign in Omaha on Tuesday. Photo: Nati Harnik/AP

The Nebraska Democratic Party has asked its 2020 Senate nominee Chris Janicek to drop out of the race after he sent sexually explicit text messages suggesting a staff member needed to get "laid," per the Omaha World-Herald.

The state of play: A staffer included in the group text reported the messages to the Nebraska Democratic Party, which has since said it will no longer support Janicek's bid. The Democratic National Committee will also withdraw support. Janicek has apologized but says he will remain in the race.

  • "This is a moment in time where I made a terrible mistake in a text message," Janicek said.
  • Per the Omaha World-Herald, Janicek also apologized to the group he was texting: "I hope everyone understands, including you ... that this is a joke ... I'm going on no sleep and a bunch of exuberant excitement and I think I was out of line now that I read my text back I apologize."

The big picture: Janicek, a baker from Omaha, is gearing up to run against incumbent Sen. Ben Sasse (R). Sasse won his Senate race by more than 30 points in 2014 and is heavily favored in November.

Go deeper

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

The U.S. coronavirus vaccines aren't all the same

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S. now has three COVID-19 vaccines, and public health officials are quick — and careful — to say there’s no bad option. But their effectiveness, manufacturing and distribution vary.

Why it matters: Any of the authorized vaccines are much better than no vaccine, especially for people at high risk of severe coronavirus infections. But their differences may fuel perceptions of inequity, and raise legitimate questions about the best way to use each one.