by Dan Gibson
John Enright has dropped out of the race for Pinal County Supervisor, which isn't terribly fascinating news, but the reason he removed himself from contention is a bit odd:
A Pinal County supervisor candidate has withdrawn from the race in the wake of voter-fraud allegations involving a former companion who, records show, has continued to vote by absentee ballot in the five years since her death.
John Enright, 66, had been seeking the Republican nomination for county supervisor of District 5, an area that includes Apache Junction and Gold Canyon.
He withdrew from the race Wednesday in a letter to Pinal County Elections Director Steve Kizer. In a written statement issued hours later through his attorney, Enright said he entered the race "wanting to bring a voice to Pinal County government" but was leaving it "for several reasons, including an almost year-long battle with cancer."
His statement made no mention of the scandal unleashed in an anonymous, undated letter sent several weeks ago to the Pinal County Recorder's Office. As recently as this year, the letter alleged, someone had been filling out and mailing in absentee ballots addressed to a woman who died on Feb. 3, 2007. The woman, Sheila Nassar, and Enright lived together at the time of her death.
Nassar was 60 years old at her passing. Enright described her as his "former life companion" and high-school sweetheart in a YouTube video posted Saturday in response to the allegations. They were in "constant contact" in the years that followed, Enright said, and he moved to Arizona in 1996 to care for Nassar, who had multiple sclerosis. They built a handicapped-accessible home in Gold Canyon, he said — a residence he shares today with a wife....
Pinal County Recorder Laura Dean-Lytle said her staff took the allegations seriously and turned over evidence to the Pinal County Attorney's Office. A spokesman there said he could "neither confirm nor deny an investigation into such a case."
She would not enumerate how many ballots issued to Nassar had been filled out and returned since her death. Records showed Nassar continued to be on the active voter rolls until officials received the anonymous note. She has since been removed.