Weeks after his resignation from the Fruita Police Department amid an internal investigation, House District 54 Republican candidate Jared Wright is facing more adversity in his bid to get elected.
First reported by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Wright confirms he filed for bankruptcy in March of 2011 after accruing $74,000 in debt.
"It was the lowest point in my life, it really was," he explained. "We weren't prepared for the economic collapse. It's been hard on us and a huge lesson for me."
The newspaper says Wright owed over $12,000 to credit card companies, about $11,000 to collection agencies and $1,000 to a Grand Junction tanning salon.
"When my wife and I got married in 2009, we started building that all-American dream. We had two incomes, we bought a home and started a family," he said.
That is when the economic collapse started to tighten its grip around the Wright family, he added.
"My wife lost her job, we started having property problems with the house," Wright explained. "There were medical issues. It happened pretty quickly to us."
To help make ends meet, Wright began buying and selling cars until he couldn't sell anymore. "I got stuck with two and that's where the car loans came from." According to the Sentinel, Wright had more than $40,000 in auto loans wiped away through bankruptcy.
Wright says the decision to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection was one of the hardest he has ever had to make.
"I'll be honest, it's been very difficult. There was a lot of soul searching involved."
But he says the development has given him even more motivation to get elected. "It makes me want to work harder, it makes me want to earn people's support more."
"I've hit rock bottom, I've been there. The discussions [a lot of families] are having around the dinner table are still probably very close to the ones I was having... and I want to help them find a solution," he declared.
Wright tells KJCT News 8 he was planning to break the news himself on the campaign trail when the "right opportunity presented itself." And even though he now has to play catch-up with the information already out there, he says he will not drop out.
"It was an embarrassment for me and still is [but] it's not going to affect my intentions of running and to continue earning people's support."
Wright says he and his wife are still living paycheck to paycheck and have over $50,000 of student loans to pay off. And he says he hasn't heard much disappointment in the wake of this news, instead quite a lot of support.
Wright's campaign has raised $11,182.27 so far and currently has $2,342.13 on hand with no outstanding loans. He is running against Libertarian candidate Tim Menger for the State House District 54 seat representing Mesa and Delta counties.