Indicted state lawmaker won’t seek reelection

March 5, 2022 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee senator who has been indicted on charges that he violated federal campaign finance laws announced Friday that he won’t seek reelection.

In his announcement on Twitter, Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey, 44, said his decision had been influenced by “a recent, exciting change to my personal life, and I look forward to spending more time with my family.”

Kelsey, from Germantown, was first elected to the General Assembly in 2004 as a state representative. He was later elected to the Senate in 2009.

In October, a federal grand jury in Nashville handed down a five-count indictment against Kelsey and a Nashville social club owner. They are accused of illegally concealing the transfer of $91,000 during Kelsey’s 2016 failed congressional campaign.

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Prosecutors also allege that Kelsey and others caused a national nonprofit political organization to make illegal and excessive campaign contributions to Kelsey by coordinating with the organization on advertisements, and caused the organization to file false reports to the Federal Election Commission.

Kelsey has described the charges as a “political witch hunt” and maintained that he’s “totally innocent.”

A judge has scheduled his trial for January 2023.