Former Delaware gubernatorial candidate sentenced for threatening ex-wife’s attorney

Then-Delaware Republican Senatorial candidate Mike Protack takes a call at his office in Wilmington, Del., on Aug. 14, 2006. The former Delaware political candidate who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nominations for governor and U.S. Senate has been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges of mailing threats to a lawyer who represented his wife in a divorce case. Protack was sentenced Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 after pleading guilty in August to two counts of mailing a threatening communication. (AP Photo/Pat Crowe II, file)

Then-Delaware Republican Senatorial candidate Mike Protack takes a call at his office in Wilmington, Del., on Aug. 14, 2006. The former Delaware political candidate who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nominations for governor and U.S. Senate has been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges of mailing threats to a lawyer who represented his wife in a divorce case. Protack was sentenced Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 after pleading guilty in August to two counts of mailing a threatening communication. (AP Photo/Pat Crowe II, file)

A perennial candidate for Delaware offices is heading to prison for the next year after pleading guilty to mailing threatening letters.

U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews sentenced Mike Protack Tuesday for sending mail to his ex-wife’s attorney threatening death.

“Count on being dead by June 2021,” Protack wrote in one letter. “You won’t know when, where, or how but your end has been written,” the letter read. Another threatening mailing was just a graphic image of a dead, mutilated body.

“Mr. Protack’s repeated threats to murder another human being is, indeed, a very serious offense, and the court’s sentence reflects that fact,” said U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss. “My office is dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of violent crime and holding the perpetrators of these crimes accountable.”

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In the early 2000s, Protack ran for a number of Delaware offices. He ran — and lost — in the Republican primary for governor in 2004 and again in 2008. In between, he tried unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2006. His last campaign was for a New Castle County Council seat in 2014.

Protack’s ex-wife filed a protection from abuse order with help from her lawyer as part of divorce proceedings against him in 2018. That effort started around the same time Protack, who worked as a pilot for Delta Air Lines, was notified that the company intended to fire him.

According to the Associated Press, Protack claimed in a federal lawsuit that Delta had harassed and bullied him for years over his union activity and repeatedly questioned his physical and mental fitness after he was injured in a hit-and-run incident in 2012. The lawsuit also claims Delta unfairly portrayed Protack as “obstructionist” for refusing to submit to a psychiatric examination.

The case was dismissed in 2020 after being transferred from California to Georgia. Protack filed a similar lawsuit, without an attorney, last year. That case was dismissed in June because of Protack’s failure to properly serve the defendants.

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