(Newser) – A Florida GOP candidate appears to be in trouble after producing a university diploma that doesn’t look quite right, the Herald-Tribune reports. Melissa Howard, running in the state House District 73 primary, showed reporters a bachelor’s diploma from the University of Miami in Ohio after Florida News Online claimed she “appears not to have the academic credentials she’s claiming.” The site pulled down the story and apologized, but reposted when the university said it had no record of her receiving a “bachelor of science in marketing” degree—in fact, there’s no such program. “Miami University’s degree for Marketing majors then, as it is now, was a Bachelor of Science in Business,” writes Robin Parker, the university’s general counsel.
Parker says Howard did pursue a “science in family and consumer services” degree at the school from 1990 to 1994 and never graduated, per the Washington Post. Howard, 46, wasn’t available for comment; her campaign consultant Anthony Pedicini says her husband had a “cardiac event” Friday and they were at a Florida hospital. “Melissa is focused on her family—not fake news this morning,” says Pedicini. Howard’s primary rival, Sarasota attorney Tommy Gregory, quickly responded to the news: “Voters deserve nothing less than the truth,” he says, and “unfortunately, it seems that Melissa Howard has failed that test.” Gregory had already questioned Howard’s claim of receiving an A-rating from the NRA; the gun group’s Florida lobbyist says she actually has a “B.”
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