IRVINE : Candidate Drops Out of Race, Citing Threat

A City Council candidate said he is dropping out of the race because of "a personal threat urging my withdrawal."

Philip N. Bui, 18, wrote in a letter to City Clerk Nancy C. Lacey on Thursday that his campaign signs were removed from locations around the city and that "within days" he received a threat urging him to withdraw.

Bui, a freshman biology student at UC Irvine, could not be reached for comment.

In his one-paragraph letter, Bui did not mention the type of threat he allegedly received. The Irvine Police Department has no record of Bui filing a complaint.

Bui, an Asian-American, speculated in his letter that the threat was motivated by either a fellow candidate or a supporter of a fellow candidate willing "to succumb to any base means to deter their opponents from the race, or that the warnings I received were racially motivated." He is the youngest of eight candidates running for two seats on the City Council in the Nov. 3 election.

On Tuesday, Lacey received a letter from a mayoral candidate, David Fondots, saying that he had ceased his campaign and would probably withdraw from the race.

The statements by the two candidates will have no effect on how the election is run, Lacey said. Candidates cannot officially withdraw from the race past the Aug. 12 filing deadline, she said. Both names will remain on the ballot, and votes for them will be tabulated.

All candidates for office signed an oath under penalty of perjury stating that they would serve if elected, Lacey said.

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