U.S. Representative Clay Higgins may have thought an earlier marriage was well behind him, but he once again appears to be interfering with his campaign.
Six years ago, in the days leading up to the runoff election that sent Higgins to Congress for his first term, his ex-wife Rosemary “Stormy” Rothkamm-Hambrice went public with her claim that the conservative Law and Order owed him approximately $141,000 in unpaid child support.
Higgins said in a conversation recorded by her that if elected to Congress, he would receive $174,000 a year and could then pay the bond. Higgins’ attorney at the time, Ted Anthony, went on to tell reporters, “If he were to win, it would give him the resources to solve this case.” Anthony added that he thought Higgins “is sincere in his desire to deal with this”.
Higgins won the election but failed to pay his debt, according Rothkamm-Hambrice, of Baton Rouge.
“No payment has been made,” she recently told The Advocate | The Times-Picayune.
Higgins declined to comment via his press office. Anthony did not respond to calls for comment.
Some members of Acadiana’s business community aren’t happy with the kind of attention Higgins is getting. And while the filing shows Higgins was heavily involved, his challengers question what they call the congressman’s meager success in getting enough federal money to help voters recover from a series of hurricanes. violent. Now the issue of child support is about to become an issue again.
“When he first ran for Congress, Clay Higgins wanted us to believe he was a changed man,” said Holden Hoggatt, a Lafayette Republican challenging Higgins this fall. “But now we see it for what it really is: a fraud. A fraudster who abandoned our families after hurricanes Laura and Delta, just as he abandoned his.
Court records show that Rothkamm-Hambrice has not pursued the matter since 2016. Nothing in the court record suggests the judgment was enforced or overturned.
His lawyer soon removed from litigation after the election, and Rothkamm-Hambrice does not want to comment further.
In fact, her only other public statement is a Facebook post from December 7, 2016, three days before the second round, in which she wrote that she had been harassed.
“Our children have seen all the hate messages my ex-husband has posted on his political page to which I have not responded. Some of his family members have personally attacked me. All of you, we have children and our children will have children. Please be kind. Romans 5:2-5,” she wrote.
Higgins, a Republican from Lafayette, is running for a fourth two-year term representing Southwest Louisiana. The 10 parishes of the 3rd Congressional District straddle Interstate 10 from Atchafalaya to Texas, including Lafayette and Lake Charles.
Higgins is a Trump supporter with a knack for entertaining videos. Since first being elected in 2016, Higgins has won easy primary victories in 2018 and 2020.
This time, Higgins faces seven opponents in the Nov. 8 primary election. A second round, if necessary, is scheduled for December 10.
Since his election, Higgins has not registered any alimony debt on his financial disclosures to Congress and bought a house in Lafayette.
Publicly, Higgins and his team said the issue was whipped by his opponent, Breaux Bridge Republican Scott Angelle. Rothkamm-Hambrice, Angelle, and many of Angelle’s closest advisers had worked for Governor Bobby Jindal.
Higgins and Rothkamm-Hambrice, his second wife, divorced in May 1999 after nine years of marriage. At the time of the divorce, Higgins was making six figures selling cars. An Orange County, Texas judge ordered Higgins to pay $1,289 a month to support her three children.
After his marriage to Rothkamm-Hambrice failed, Higgins told reporters he had found God and made amends. He quit his lucrative job as a car salesman and joined law enforcement, which paid around $8 an hour. Higgins paid about $39,000 in child support between 2000 and 2004. The last payment was in February 2005, court records show.
Rothkamm-Hambrice filed a lawsuit in January 2005 asking the East Baton Rouge Parish Family District Court to enforce the Texas child support order. Higgins asked that the trial be moved to St. Landry Parish, where he lived. In October 2016, when it all went to St. Landry Parish Courts, Higgins owed $96,852.53 in unpaid court-ordered child support payments, records show. Rothkamm-Hambrice claimed she owed a total of $140,826 in neglected arrears, additional interest and penalties.
Rothkamm-Hambrice found herself raising three small children – they’re all adults now – earning around $30,000 a year until she joined Jindal, when her salary doubled, according to her Facebook post and records governmental.
As for Higgins, she said on Facebook, “He was still chasing his next big dream, one that would make him rich and help me support the kids.”