LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry formally announced his reelection campaign on Monday amid allegations that he misled federal authorities who were investigating an illegal contribution to his campaign.
The Nebraska Republican made his announcement in a YouTube video from inside a 1963 Ford pickup with his wife and dog — the same backdrop where he acknowledged several months ago that he was under federal investigation.
In the video, Fortenberry said he has achieved some major accomplishments “in spite of the difficulties of this year." He pointed to the passage of a law designed to drive research into Lou Gehrig’s disease, an incurable neurodegenerative disorder, and promote early treatments. He also cited $11.2 million in federal funding for a new agricultural research center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and construction upgrades at Offutt Air Force Base.
Fortenberry has pleaded not guilty to one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators.
Prosecutors say Fortenberry lied to FBI agents and concealed information related to their investigation into an illegal, $30,000 donation to his campaign from a Nigerian billionaire.
Nebraska state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, a Democrat, is also running for the seat.
The Associated Press