House Candidate Brings a History of Financial Woes; Trials as Business Owner Good Preparation to Serve, Dutton Says

Article excerpt

Byline: Walter C. Jones

ATLANTA | Congressional hopeful Delvis Dutton brings to the campaign trail a history of financial problems that is likely to become fodder for his opponents.

Dutton announced he will qualify next week for the Republican primary in the 12th congressional district currently represented by Democrat John Barrow.

Dutton will face at least three other announced candidates, including former congressional aide John Stone and Augusta businessmen Rick Allen and Eugene Yu. Stone and Allen have each run before in that district and have nearly a yearlong head start on Dutton campaigning. Yu just announced last weekend that he is switching from the U.S. Senate race.

Both Allen and Yu have made sizable personal contributions to their campaigns, something Dutton appears to be unable to do to help his campaign catch up in the fundraising contest.

Dutton, the owner of General Pump and Well in Glennville and also a Republican legislator, has been the subject of at least 29 judgments against him and his company for a variety of creditors. The judgments include unpaid sales, property and withholding taxes, repeated instances of unpaid unemployment-insurance premiums for his workers and claims from banks and suppliers.

"At the age of 22, I decided to start my own well-drilling business," he said Friday. "During the past 14 years my business - like many small businesses -has enjoyed success as well as financially challenging times. In spite of any difficulties the business faced, I have never walked away from a debt."

Court records in Dutton's home county of Tattnall show the trail of financial problems stretches from a 2003 judgment against his company from Noland Co. for $15,600 that was satisfied two years later to as recently as December 2012 to Yellowbook Inc. …