Ward 4 frontrunner Brandon Todd

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Ward 4 candidate Brandon Todd is set to sweep his 14 opponents in the Ward 4 special election. Thanks to an endorsement from mentor Muriel Bowser and a campaign treasury that has surpassed his rivals’ bank accounts by nearly $200,000, the April 28 race looks to be less of an election and more of a coronation.

But Todd hasn’t always had such good fortune. A decade ago, when he was in his early 20s, Todd filed for bankruptcy over more than $20,000 in debts, according to documents filed in federal court.

Many of Todd’s debts came in the form of credit card debts to luxury clothing stores. In a January 2005 listing of his creditors, Todd describes $1,724 owed to Bloomingdale’s, $646 owed to J. Crew, $1,458 owed to Macy’s, $450 owed to Neiman Marcus, $2,134 owed to Nordstrom, and $1,650 owed to Saks Fifth Avenue. Todd owed the biggest share of his $20,637 in total debts to First Financial Bank, a South Dakota-based bank that he owed $7,371.

Elsewhere in court records, Todd comes across as a young man who bought a lot of clothes. Listing his personal possessions after filing for bankruptcy, Todd, then 21, estimated that his clothes were worth $550. According to his filing, they had more value than any of his listed other possessions, and were worth more than twice what he had in his bank accounts.

In an emailed statement, Todd spokesman Everett Hamilton says Todd has “dedicated himself to public service” since his bankruptcy.

“Brandon declared bankruptcy while in college almost 10 years ago,” Hamilton writes. “It is a settled matter from which he has learned many lessons.”

[documentcloud url=”https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1671603-brandon-todd-debt-schedule.html”]

Photo by Will Sommer