Updated May 23, 2024 - News

U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles' messy finances

Andy Ogles

U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles earlier this month in New York for former President Trump's criminal trial. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles filed 11 amended financial reports with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, making the notable change of removing a $320,000 loan he'd previously reported giving to his campaign.

Why it matters: Ogles' financial disclosures were already under scrutiny and the subject of an ethics complaint filed in January.

  • According to his most recent disclosure, Ogles has $95,348.95 on hand, which is a relatively small amount considering he has a formidable primary challenger in Nashville Councilmember Courtney Johnston.

By the numbers: In April, Ogles filed a disclosure showing he had about $449,000 cash on hand. That included $320,000, which he personally loaned to his campaign according to earlier disclosures.

What he's saying: Ogles said he pledged the $320,000 to use toward his campaign "if needed."

  • Ogles said he is "not a wealthy man" and he "pledged everything I own" to run for the House seat.
  • "That $320,000 pledge comprised several documented assets, including bank and retirement accounts, which I was ready to personally risk for the chance to fight for Middle Tennessee. While we only needed to transfer $20,000, unfortunately, the full amount of my pledge was mistakenly included on my campaign's FEC reports."
  • He says he amended the reports in consultation with attorneys and "FEC reporting experts."

The latest: Earlier this month, Ogles' congressional office sent a mailer to constituents touting his first-term accomplishments. It was paid for by taxpayers through a congressional program called franking.

State of play: Following a series of NewsChannel 5 reports, a nonpartisan watchdog group filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics over Ogles' campaign finance irregularities.

Zoom out: Ogles emerged from a crowded Republican primary field in 2022 and went on to win the District 5 House seat.

  • Since the Civil War, the district included virtually all of Davidson County and stood as a reliable Democratic seat. But state lawmakers redrew the district to include suburban and rural areas, which made the seat reliably Republican.
  • Johnston, one of the more prominent members of the Metro Council, entered the race earlier this year, giving Ogles a challenger with high name recognition among the Nashville portion of his district. Tom Guarente, a cybersecurity executive, qualified to run for the seat, but dropped out of the race in April.
  • Ogles already had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump prior to Johnston entering the race.

The other side: "Normal folks get in big trouble for lying to the feds about money, but Andy is a politician who thinks he deserves a free pass and two more years of a taxpayer salary," Johnston said in a statement. "If Andy Ogles is willing to lie about his own money, what won't he lie about? We deserve a representative we can trust."

The primary election is Aug. 1, with early voting beginning July 12.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details, including comments from Ogles and Johnston.

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