Gary Whalen, a conservative candidate vying for a District 1 Phoenix City Council seat, withdrew his name from the ballot this morning.
He also pulled down his campaign website (electgarywhalen.com) and scrubbed his Facebook page.
Whalen is retreating from the race after New Times wrote about his January arrest at his north Phoenix home. Police report that Whalen got drunk at a bar, came home and busted down a bedroom door where his roommate was sleeping. The police report identifies that man as Whalen's ex-boyfriend and states that Whalen locked the man out in his underwear after striking him with a piece of wood broken off the door.
Phoenix election officials say they can't remember a time in recent history that a candidate has pulled out of the race after qualifying for the ballot.
Another Phoenix City Council would-be candidate -- Ben Bethel, owner of the Clarendon Hotel -- dropped out of the race for Phoenix City Council's District 7 after New Times' Ray Stern wrote about his 1996 drug convictions.
Whalen already had collected enough signatures to show up on the ballot, so he wrote a brief note to the Phoenix City Clerk:
"I officially withdraw from the Phoenix City Council race. Please ensure that my name does not appear on the ballot. Thank you."
Since Whalen pulled out at least 75 days before the election, his name will not be on the printed ballot. Indeed, Whalen was a Tea Party favorite who touted his conservative leanings.
Whalen could have thought that a plea agreement crafted to dismiss the assault charges after he completed counseling with a domestic-violence-diversion program meant the January 23 incident would disappear.
Nothing ever does.
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