PLACERVILLE, CA - A bankruptcy attorney who claimed he moved to El Dorado County the same week he filed papers to run for district attorney has abandoned his campaign after just 17 days.
Judson Henry called current District Attorney Vern Pierson at 1:30 pm Monday to say he was dropping out of the race and would support Pierson in the election.
Henry was dogged by questions about his residency after he filed election paperwork March 7 claiming he was living in the two-bedroom Placerville home owned by political consultant Cris Alarcon.
Contacted by News10 last Monday at the Rocklin townhouse listed by the State Bar of California, Henry explained that he spent weekends there with his 7-year-old son.
During a brief interview outside the El Dorado County elections department, Henry once again insisted he lived at the Placerville house, but conceded the circumstances didn't look good.
"Many people might consider it inappropriate and I respect and understand that," he said.
Henry said the main reason he was dropping out was to spare his son further exposure.
Henry's attempt to unseat Pierson was largely seen as political payback for the prosecution of El Dorado County Supervisor Ray Nutting, who faces trial on fraud charges next month.
Nutting gathered Henry's nominating signatures and works with Alarcon, who provided the Placerville address.
When reached by phone Monday afternoon, Nutting expressed surprise at Henry's decision to drop out.
"I have no idea why he got into the race, and I have no clue why he got out," Nutting said.
Pierson, who had not been challenged for reelection before, said he appreciated Henry's call.
"It became clear others had attempted to use him to create a distraction," Pierson said. "I wish him the best."