Collection Lawyer Loses State Senate Primary; Former Agency Owner Running for Senate

A pair of individuals with ties to the collection industry were profiled in published reports for their efforts in state and federal politics. Here is a summary of what is happening with each candidate.

Bryan Zollinger

Zollinger, an attorney for works for a collection agency, narrowly lost a primary election for his state Senate seat in Idaho yesterday to challenger Marco Erickson. Unofficial results gave Erickson 2,509 votes to 2,375 for Zollinger. Zollinger had been targeted by Frank VanderSloot, a billionaire who has taken a keen interest in how medical debt is collected in Idaho. VanderSloot became interested after some of his employees had debts placed with an agency that the billionaire deemed to be too aggressive with its collection efforts. He put up $1 million of his own money to help individuals who were being sued by the agency and helped get a law passed in Idaho that caps the legal fees that can be assessed on judgments and created a waiting period before a debt can be placed with an agency.

Zollinger’s work representing the agency is why Erickson chose to run, he said in a published report. Zollinger had been a state Senator since 2016.

Marckeith DeJesus

DeJesus is one of seven Democrats competing in the Georgia primary next week to run for Senate in November against incumbent David Perdue. DeJesus is a relative political newcomer, having unsuccessfully run for state office twice.

A published report said that DeJesus used to be the owner of a small debt collection agency. His LinkedIn profile says he was the owner of Guardian Recovery in Marietta, Ga., from May 2011 to December 2012. He also spent four years prior to owning his agency working at another collection agency, Revcall.

“I am the best candidate because I understand what it means to come from nothing and to work hard to get something,” DeJesus said in the report. “I understand the common man’s needs and their desires because I grew up in the projects. I know what it’s like not to have running water. I know what it’s like to eat the same thing every other day.”

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