Ron Reynolds, a Texas Representative from Missouri City, Texas, has reportedly filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to a recent ABC 7 report. In court documents, Reynolds states that he owes $1.3 million to his creditors. Of that amount, he says that $3,000 can be chalked up to unpaid tolls, alone. Unfortunately for Reynolds, he has more to worry about than just his own personal finances. He is also in the midst of a reelection campaign, albeit in a heavily-Democratic district, in which he is currently the odds-on favorite. In a statement to ABC, he declined to talk about any specifics related to his bankruptcy filing, instead insisting that it had nothing to do with his political job:
"I'm staying focused on serving my community and being the voice that speaks out for them on the issues that matter to them, like school funding, affordable healthcare, economic development and criminal justice reforms."
Time will tell if something like three grand in unpaid tolls will affect the minds of voters, but in another unfortunate development for the politician, he's had even more damning developments hang over his head over the last year. One of the key components of his current financial predicament is the fact that in 2015, his license to practice law was suspended after he was convicted of illegally soliciting clients. He's in the process of appealing the conviction, but his income has suffered greatly in the meantime, and according to Reynolds, he made just $4,000 in 2016, a stark contrast to his 2015 earnings of more than $181,000.
And then, there's Nancy Calloway, who lost her daughter in a car accident in 2010. In April, Reynolds was ordered by a judge to pay more than $500,000 to Calloway, his former client, As a result of his failure to pay her a legal settlement she was owed from the accident. To make matters even worse for a politician seeking reelection, Calloway told the media she was refusing to buy her daughter's headstone until Reynolds paid up.
It seems like a lot for anyone to deal with, let alone someone in the fragile, tenuous position of a reelection campaign. But publicly, anyway, Reynolds is staying upbeat, referring to his various legal and financial troubles as "personal" and unrelated to his ability to do his job.