Lea Marquez Peterson filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to unload $3.2 million in debt, tax liens and a judgment.

Lea Marquez Peterson filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to unload $3.2 million in debt, tax liens, and a judgment.

Lea “Chapter 7” Marquez-Peterson spent most of a recent MSNBC interview ducking questions — at first disavowing Trump because she is a “local candidate,” then later saying she would be “honored” to have him visit Tucson.


Peterson is a Republican candidate for Congress in Tucson’s CD2. There are 7 Democratic candidates vying for the chance to run against her.

No criticism of anti-Hispanic ex-sheriff

She played dumb when it came to Trump’s pardon of convicted ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio. “I really don’t have a position on President Trump’s pardoning of Sheriff Joe.”

REALLY? Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to obey court orders to stop his immigration roundups based on racially profiling Hispanic people.

She runs a ring of Hispanic chambers of commerce that she says has 1,800 members, but they serve as platforms for Governor Ducey and other Republican officials.

She said she’d likely support a discharge effort in House of Representatives to force a vote on legislation to support Dreamers. She defended Trump’s calling immigrants as “animals,” because she said he was referring to gang members from Mexico.

A business “leader” famous for going broke

Her campaign website states that she “owned and operated a chain of gasoline stations & convenience stores in the Tucson region” — but fails to mention that they all went broke and that she dumped all the debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.

At the time she was touting herself as a business expert and had even worked for Shell in gas station franchise and business development. She borrowed money to start up two Chevron stations and a convenience store in Tucson that sold pizza and car washes.

It would be a very bad loan by GE Capital.

When she filed for her bankruptcy discharge she:

  • Owed more than $3.2 million in debt.
  • Faced a lawsuit from GE Capital for breach of contract. She owed GE Capital $1.7 million for one gas station and $550,000 for the other one.
  • Had lost a $30,000 judgment from California Petroleum Equipment.
  • Owed the IRS $93,978. The IRS had filed 9 liens against her.
  • Had a $38,000 student loan — she had a B.A. in marketing and entrepreneurship from the UA and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
  • Owed $29,429 in unpaid property taxes.
  • Owed Onion Pizza $20,000.
  • Owed $13,000 in unpaid sales taxes. The Pima County Recorder’s Office filed liens against her.
  • Was behind in payments on loans for the gas stations.

Yet when she announced her run for Congress, she said she would, “spread the message of fiscal conservatism.”