Bart McLeay announced his candidacy for the 2014 Republican nomination for U.S. Senate on the Otoe County Courthouse lawn in Nebraska City.
McLeay, who is running to fill the Senate seat left by retiring Sen. Mike Johanns, opened his campaign with the message that "freedom has worked."
"Since the beginning of time, there have been many different forms of government but most have failed humanity in one way or another.
America's system of governance, based on freedom, has not.
Freedom has worked," McLeay said.
"Freedom is the common denominator and core of who we are as a people.
Our economic structure -- when allowed to operate in a free market enterprise system -- has been a resounding success.
It is no accident the United States has become the strongest and most affluent nation in the world.
America has risen to this stature because free people bring prosperity to themselves and the nation.
Freedom has never failed us. To the contrary, freedom has worked.
Freedom also works in creating liberty.
Freedom of speech, religion and of the press, the right to bear arms and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by our government, are all guaranteed by the social contract we have made with each other and memorialized in the U.S. Constitution.
These are not rights of Republicans, Democrats or Indepedents. These are rights of all Americans and they are clearly worth fighting to preserve.
America has lost its way in recent days. Our Congress has forgotten our core beliefs and wandered from what has sustained us for more than two centuries.
Freedom has worked.
It is time to re-direct ourselves and march back toward freedom. We don't want a government that overtaxes us, engages in uncontrollable spending, over-regulates our businesses or attempts to influence our every move.
We don't want a government that targets its citizen groups who oppose them wiretaps journalists for reporting unfavorable facts about the government or performs secret surveillance of innocent citizens.
Washington may have drifted away from our principles as a country, but we can come back.
And that is because freedom works as a basis for governing, and it always has.
I studied accounting and have spent my entire career as a business lawyer. I understand the economic principles that drive business to expand and make our economy grow.
I have also spent nearly three decades fighting in courthouses just like this in Nebraska and elsewhere. I fought the federal government on behalf of landowners in western Nebraska when the government arbitrarily sought to take the land.
Page 2 of 2 - I successfully represented a nationally acclaimed non-profit group that supports wounded soldiers in a case in which their rights were infringed.
I represented our state as an assistant attorney general on behalf of our Republican River in southwest Nebraska in a suit pending in the United States Supreme Court.
I have fought and won in courthouses in Nebraska and elsewhere and I am now ready to take the fight to Washington.
Congress has a 10 percent approval rating and is in gridlock. Most people would run from that environment. I want to run to it, on your behalf.
I have spent my whole professional life resolving disputes. I thrive in those circumstances. I am trained to reach people with different points of view. That happens every time I have stood before a jury or a judge with a different perspective.
And I will listen to your views and take them with me to Washington.
I want to go back to Washington and remind government officials what Nebraskans have long:
I will fight for freedom.
I will be a freedom fighter.
My name is Bart McLeay and I want to be your next U.S. Senator. Thank you for your support." he said.