David Elton III, a long-shot candidate challenging Bonnie Mager for Spokane County Commissioner, District 3, while still awaiting trial on charges he made e-mail threats against civic leaders, has withdrawn from the race, he says in a press release issued today.
Elton's departure still leaves three Republican challengers going against Mager, including former Spokane City Councilman Al French, Steve Salvatori and Jeff Holy.
In his press release, Elton cited mounting legal expenses and marital strains in his decision to leave the race. He is still awaiting trial nearly two years after he was arrested and jailed for e-mails that he says were dark humor but which friends who saw them were disturbed enough to forward to Spokane police. The e-mails contained sentences such as "I want to murder the following people" and listed City Council President Joe Shogan and Betsy Cowles, chairwoman of Cowles Publishing among others. The e-mails also contained references to the murder threats as "Kidding!" "Joking!" and "Comedy below."
However, after calling Elton to the Public Safety Building for an interview, police determined the e-mails to be threatening and booked him into jail. His case has gone through several defense attorneys and a slew of judges.