The financial woes of one Albemarle County supervisor candidate are being dragged into the spotlight. Democrat Brad Sheffield, who is running for the Rio District seat, says his political opponents have brought up his previous money issues but that he wants to stay focused on the issues in Albemarle, not on his past.
Sheffield admits to having filed for bankruptcy.
"We faced some very difficult financial decisions and we were faced with deciding to pay credit card bills or put food on the table to be quite frank," he said.
Sheffield filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia in 2003. Now he's sharing the incident on his website.
"I put this all out there on my website because I want the people to know who I am, where I'm coming from, the struggles I've had and how that makes me a stronger candidate," he said.
Sheffield cites the burden of student loans and a bad economy for the financial troubles. He describes the ordeal as painful and says he is disappointed that his past is being dragged into the election.
"Going into this election I assumed it would be a gentleman's race and, to be quite frank, it's kind of disturbing that my opponent Rodney Thomas and the Republican Party is making these personal attacks and pretty much divert the voters' attention to the issues that are important to the community," Sheffield said.
Sheffield hopes this won't negatively affect his chance in the race. He believes the situation actually makes him a better candidate.
"Going through those difficult times in my life didn't tear me down; they made me stronger. They made me stronger as a person and a stronger contributor to the community," he said.
Rodney Thomas, who is also running for the Rio District seat of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, did respond Thursday morning. He said he was not involved in revealing the information about Sheffield's bankruptcy. Thomas says he is, "not that type of politician."
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