Reyher: Pueblo Republican Can’t Win After Child Support Problems

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Judy Reyher (R).

“I honestly don’t believe he can win,” said State Rep. Judy Reyher (R-Pueblo) about Pueblo house candidate Don Bendell who acknowledged last week that he failed to pay child support for nearly 17 years.

Bendell successfully challenged Reyher in this year’s GOP primary, saying that Reyher had made  “a few mistakes…that are going to be used by Democrats against us,” and therefore she should not continue representing Pueblo at the statehouse–a charge that now has Reyher calling Bendell a “hypocrite.” With his June primary election victory over Reyher, Bendell is the official Republican candidate for the Pueblo area house seat (House District 47).

“He’s an awful candidate,” Reyher told the Colorado Times Recorder Monday, adding that “this is not the only skeleton in that man’s closet” and the revelation about child support “doesn’t surprise me at all.”

“I hate it, because I’m going to be known as the Republican who lost House District 47,” Reyher said.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported July 30: 

The three children from Don Bendell’s first marriage claim their father was a “deadbeat dad” for nearly 17 years before he began paying court-ordered child support payments — after they were adults.

Bendell, the Republican candidate in House District 47, confirmed that he didn’t start paying the $500-a-month, court-ordered support until early 1997, but said his ex-wife had refused some earlier efforts to pay her and had “brainwashed” his children against him.

Britt Bendell, one of Bendell’s children, got mad when he saw that his father was running as a family-values Republican. Britt Bendell told the Chieftain:

“He never did anything for us, his three children from his first marriage. It took years before my mother was able to get any child support from him.”

Reyher said Bendell was bragging how well he and his kids get along just last week.

Asked for a response to Reyher’s view that he can’t win his house race in light of his longtime failure to pay child support, Bendell issues this statement.

Bendell: “The recent salacious story dredging up ancient history of child support is a non-issue. I paid every dime owed, plus interest. I did fall behind, I regret that, and I own it. However, everything has been paid in full. I decided to run for office and serve my community. That does not make my family, especially children and grand-children fair game for cheap shots and political hit pieces.”

“I think calling him a narcissist in that article was pretty right on,” Reyher said, referring to reporting in the Chieftain that all three of his children said he was a narcissist. “He calls himself the John Wayne of the Arkansas Valley…But he’s not a cowboy. I was raised in a family of rodeo cowboys. He’s about as far from a cowboy as you can get.”

At one time there was a court order in North Carolina to arrest Don Bendell on failure to pay child support, but it was essentially unenforceable because Bendell was in Ohio and then Colorado, according to Bendell’s ex-wife as quoted in the Chieftain.

Don Bendell told the newspaper that he didn’t pay because the courts were stacked against him in North Carolina, but he ultimately paid off his child-support obligations in 1997, after his children were grown and the Clinton administration established a federal program to enforce non-payment of child support funds.

Referring to controversial Facebook posts that apparently inspired Bendell to challenge Reyher in the GOP primary, Reyher said, “I did not like Barack Obama, and neither did many many many of my Republican friends. And it was not because he was an African-American.”

Reyher believes that if she’d won the primary against Bendell, she’d have been able to deflect criticism of her Facebook activity, which was viewed as racist even though she insisted she wasn’t racist.


18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    Reyher in short:  Drop out and let me, the racist from Swink run in his stead.

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Sour Grapes Express. Stop giving Colorado Pols fodder you idiot.

  3. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Seems like a win-win-win situation to me. 

    Bendell loses, Reyher is labelled the one who loses, and Pueblo gets Democrat Brianna Buentello in the House's increased Democratic majority.

    Only thing better would be to somehow link the result to the rising Trump–Koch Brothers dispute or some other Republican Party factionalism that could paralyze the Pueblo Republican party for a couple of election cycles.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Win-win indeed. Bri Buontello will represent HD47 well. As for Pueblo, its steel industries won’t suffer from the tariffs like the rest of Colorado will, but the big profits go to Russia, to EVRAZ, the owner of Pueblo’s main mill. I think the Pueblo GOP will be paralyzed, but by internal rot as much as anything external. 

      Its chair Becky Mizel resigned and its  treasurer were indicted for corruption and embezzlement , its county commissioner and kingmaker Tom Ready was shown to be a domestic abuser and conspiracy crank, former HD47 rep Clarice Navarro was rewarded for kissing up to Trump with a cushy Fed job in which she now gets to dispense welfare checks to farmers who say they hate welfare “free stuff”, and HD 46 rep Daneya Edgar gets handily re-elected and is one of the strongest voices in Colorado. 

      The only thing that united Pueblo GOP was the recall battle over fears of gun confiscation, but those millions of dark money dollars aren’t coming their way this year and you can only yell “OMFG the Dems are comin to grab yer guns!!!!” , so many times before people stop believing you.  Legal cannabis and wind and solar energy are pumping up the Pueblo economy, they’re not scared of immigrants coming from a union Slavic German Mexican Italian immigrant town. 

      And all that was before the 2 GOP candidates for HD47 imploded, one after the other. Way to pick ‘em, Nutlid.

      All the enthusiasm is on the Dem side this year.

  4. Genghis says:


    GOP: The Personal Responsibility Party (where "personal responsibility" does not include supporting one's own spawn)

    God bless the Republicans in HD47, who managed to nominate  a candidate sufficiently scuzzy that even a toilet bug like Judy Reyher feels justified in claiming the moral high ground on him.

  5. RepealAndReplace says:

    Dea ex machina….

    The Goddess appears and comes down from the sky to save her people from the deadbeat dad.

  6. Sparky says:

    Bendell is genuinely, dangerously nuts. Someone should dig into the years of letters he sent to the Daily Record in Canon City for a sample of his racism and instability, as well as the fact that he claims to be a Pulitzer Prize nominee for his absurd books, which is blatantly false and ridiculous.

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