Aug. 14 (UPI) — Florida political candidate Melissa Howard has apologized for lying about having received a college degree — but said she won’t drop out of the race.
Howard, who’s running for the Florida House, said earlier this month she’d earned a bachelor of science in marketing from Miami University in Ohio. The school, though, offers no degree in that field.
When FLA News Online questioned the claim, Howard called its report “a lie.” She even went so far as traveling to Ohio and posed for a photo with what appeared to be a degree.
Miami University said later Howard attended the school from 1990 to 1994, but did not graduate.
Howard, 46, then apologized.
“I would like to apologize to my family and my supporters for this situation,” she said. “It was not my intent to deceive or mislead anyone. I made a mistake in saying that I completed my degree. What I did was wrong and set a bad example for someone seeking public service.”
Despite some calls for her to leave the House race, Howard said she plans to see it through.
“I am staying in the race and intend to win and lead by example from now on.”
Howard campaign consultant Anthony Pedicini said the candidate is focused on her husband, who is recovering from a “cardiac event.” He said she’s “focused on him right now,” not “fake news.”
Howard, a Republican, is running to represent Manatee and Sarasota counties. She will face attorney Tommy Gregory in the party’s Aug. 28 primary.