John McCain's campaign said this morning that white powder sent to offices Thursday in New Hampshire and Colorado, forcing evacuations, turned out to be harmless. A jail inmate was arrested in the Colorado case.
"At approximately 3 p.m. Mountain time, a McCain staff member in Denver opened an envelope that contained a threatening letter and an unknown white powder. As a precautionary measure, the campaign office was immediately closed and staff was sent to a local hospital for medical evaluation. Local authorities as well as the FBI and United States Secret Service have investigated the scene and determined that the substance poses no threat," Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker said in a statement.
ďAlso yesterday afternoon, a similar letter was found in the campaign's Manchester, New Hampshire office. After closing that office, the Manchester Police Department determined that there was no threat. Senator and Mrs. McCain thank the local and federal authorities for their swift response and will continue to monitor the situation closely."
The Denver Post reports that authorities believe the writer of the threatening note sent to the Colorado office was a county jail inmate.
Marc Harold Ramsey, 39, has been in jail since September, unable to post the $350,000 bond on charges of felony charges of menacing, harassment and assault on a peace officer, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, the Post said.
"He is a prolific writer of threatening letters," the Secret Service said.
UPDATE: Ramsey was charged today for sending the letter and white powder, the Associated Press is reporting.
Tests showed the white powder wasn't anthrax or any other lethal substance, but authorities had not determined what it was.
The letter read, "If you are reading this, then you are already dead!" It was signed Akeem Ramsey El, but the return address on the envelope had Ramsey's name and "Arapahoe County Detention Facility," the AP says.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.