Melissa Howard revealed the news in a text message. The text read, “I have come to the realization that the right thing to do for my community is to withdraw from the race. I will do so today.”
She added, “I made a terrible error in judgement (sic). I am thankful for everyone who gave so much toward my success, and I am deeply sorry.”
Her lie was first called out by Florida political news website FLA News Online last week. It was also confirmed by the school’s general counsel that she did not earn a degree.
On Monday, she admitted to her lie and that it was “not [her] intent to deceive or mislead anyone.” At that time she also noted she would not drop out of the race.
In her apology, she stated, “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. I am staying in the race and intend to win and lead by example from now on.” But her decision has been reversed. It comes two weeks before their primary election where thousands have already submitted their ballots.
This move makes Republican candidate Tommy Gregory the winner of the primary. This means that in the general election, he will face off against Democrat Liv Coleman.
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