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Candidate withdraws from race, cites threatening phone call

By Jon Erickson
Published On: Sep 19 2012 02:32:34 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 19 2012 05:45:09 PM CDT
PAMLICO COUNTY -

A Democratic candidate for Pamlico County Commissioner plans to withdraw from the race due to a threatening phone call to his home.

Roger Bullis said the threat was the latest in escalating campaign hostility.

"An anonymous phone call [Monday] night with an obscene epithet launched at my wife along with a veiled threat about 'going back to where you came from' is the last straw in a process where I have witnessed the hatefulness of too many," Bullis said in a statement.

He and his wife, Pat, moved five years ago from Wisconsin to Oriental.

Bullis said his campaign signs have been vandalized and he has been verbally attacked on public streets because of his Democratic position, and it all became too much with the addition of the phone threat.

"Enough," Bullis said as part of his statement.

Christine Mele, the Republican Township Two incumbent against whom Bullis was running, spoke out Wednesday against whoever made the phone call.

"I am outraged that acts of intimidation would occur in the place that I love and that I call home," Mele said in a phone conversation with a reporter.

Bullis has not yet formally withdrawn his candidacy, according to an elections official in Pamlico County.

Bullis' wife chose to not file a report with authorities, according to Pamlico County Sheriff Bill Sawyer Jr.