WILMINGTON -- The financial problems continue to grow for Pat Delair. The Wilmington councilwoman has now filed for bankruptcy. This is not the first time Delair has had financial difficulties. And with the election just over a week away the big question now is: will this have an impact on voters? The building at 511 N. Third Street, where Councilwoman Pat Delair lives went into foreclosure earlier this month. At that point she owed more than $40,000 on the property. To avoid an auction scheduled for Friday morning Delair voluntarily filed for bankruptcy. Her latest financial problems have raised questions about her ability to effectively sit on Wilmington's City Council. Fellow Councilman Jason Thompson says he received numerous calls about the issue. Thompson said, "There's a member on my committee that is evidently having trouble taking care of her own finances and they're not very confident in her ability to take care of the city's finances." Delair says the matter stems from a bad business decision in 2001 that she has been working to correct. She says the only way to stop creditors from forcing an auction on her property was to file for bankruptcy. Delair reiterated her public comments Friday, saying this will not affect her ability to be an effective council member. Delair said, "I'm working with other vendors at this time, paying them off, and I just did not feel compelled to be extorted and I just said do what you have to do, but my obligations are the people I've made commitments to." When we asked voters whether a candidate's financial situation influences their voting decisions, the opinions were mixed. Voter Stephanie King said, "I don't think it should be made public. I believe a candidate's personal life is their personal life, and I think they deserve that." Voter Billy Cash said, "I wouldn't want to vote for someone who's having financial difficulties, because if they can't manage their own money, how are they going to manage our money, the taxpayers' money?" This is not the first time Delair has had financial problems right before election time. In July of 2006 she owed more than $2,500 in property taxes to the county. That matter was eventually resolved and seemed to have little impact with voters. Fellow council members Jim Quinn and Laura Padgett said they both wished Delair well and said they hope she resolves the matter soon.
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