SACRAMENTO -- Just one week after a scandal involving his father broke, and Congressman Ami Bera is back on the campaign trail.
Babulal Bera pleaded guilty to federal election fraud charges last week, after making excessive contributions to his son's 2010 and 2012 campaigns. Speaking to a room full of his volunteers and supporters, Congressman Bera did not shy away from what happened to his father.
"I'm saddened that my dad finds himself in the challenging situation that he's in. You never want to see your family go through something like that," Bera told FOX40.
But he maintains neither he nor his campaign had any knowledge Babulal giving money to different family members to donate to Bera's 2010 and 2012 campaigns, and there by bypassing campaign contribution limit laws.
Bera said investigators with the U.S. Attorney's Office back up his claim of being in the dark. "I'm grateful that the U.S. Attorney's office was very up front that I didn't know anything about this and my campaign didn't," Bera told FOX40.
Investigators said they found no evidence of illegal contributions from Bera's father in the 2014 race. Babulal is facing 30 months in prison, and will be sentenced in August.
As November closes in, the congressman acknowledges the man running to take his seat, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, will likely bring up his father. But Bera hopes voters focus on his record.
"This is politics, I got elected because of the phenomenal support that we have from our volunteers and supporters. They elected us to represent this district, and we've done a phenomenal job," Bera said.
Jones may also be depending on the issues to defeat Bera. In a statement he released to FOX40 Sunday he said:
"With the June 7th Primary Election just weeks away, my focus remains on running the best race that I can; one that is centered on positive solutions to help keep our families safe, create a stronger economy, and ensure our nation is secure. The energy of our volunteers and supporters helps fuel me as I meet with voters all across Sacramento county. I am tremendously grateful for their support, and will continue to work hard to earn the vote of all those in the 7th Congressional District of California."