GOP Candidate Vows to Stay in Race After Fake Diploma

Florida's Melissa Howard says the whole thing was a 'mistake'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2018 9:25 AM CDT

It wasn't fake news, but a fake diploma: A Florida GOP candidate has admitted she lied about having a degree from Ohio's Miami University, though she says she didn't mean to dupe the public. "It was not my intent to deceive or mislead anyone. I made a mistake in saying that I completed my degree," Melissa Howard said in a Facebook statement Monday, vowing to stay in the race for the state's 73rd House District including portions of Manatee and Sarasota counties. Most comments on the post aren't exactly supportive. "It's not a 'mistake' when you intentionally post lies about your achievements," reads one.

Per the Sarasota Herald Tribune, Howard didn't explain how she obtained a "bachelor of science in marketing" diploma, which she shared on Facebook before the university said such a degree was never offered and that Howard hadn't graduated after pursuing a different degree in the early 1990s. Before Monday's statement, a campaign official had referred to doubts about the diploma as "fake news." "What I did was wrong and set a bad example for someone seeking public service," Howard continued. Per CBS News, she added she plans to win the Aug. 28 primary against Tommy Gregory and "lead by example from now on." (Read more GOP candidates stories.)

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