Mar 7, 2022 - Politics

State Sen. Brian Kelsey announces departure

Embattled state Sen. Brian Kelsey sitting down in front of a tablet
Photo: Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean/USA Today Network

Embattled state Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), who has been indicted on federal campaign finance charges, announced last week he would not seek reelection.

Why it matters: Kelsey, 44, had been one of the Tennessee GOP's rising stars before he was accused of illegally funneling money from his state campaign to an ill-fated Congressional bid.

  • Federal prosecutors revealed the charges against him last October. He denied the allegations and called the case "a political witch hunt."
  • Kelsey was first elected to the General Assembly as a House representative in 2004.

What he's saying: Kelsey's federal trial is set for next January, but he did not mention the case while announcing his decision.

  • "I will not be running for reelection due to a recent, exciting change to my personal life, and I look forward to spending more time with my family," Kelsey tweeted.
  • Kelsey said he hoped voters would support him if he runs for elected office "in the coming years," although he did not provide more details.

Between the lines: Opponents had already lined up against Kelsey in the election set for later this year, including in the Republican primary, per the Tennessee Lookout.

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