She flew all the way to Ohio to get proof of her Miami University degree which she proudly posted. In a photo posted on her Facebook page, Melissa Howard is seen inside the Miami University’s Student Success Services offices with her mother and her supposed degree. Despite her best efforts, Howard is still being dragged by fake news in an effort to derail her campaign. At least that is the narration her team is going with. To add to the already murky swamp Howard finds herself in, her husband Ian was hospitalized because of a heart attack. He has since been released Lakewood Ranch Medical Center confirms.
Howard’s campaign consultant, Anthony Pedicini, confirmed the husband’s “cardiac event” and stated “Melissa is focused on her family—not fake news this morning.”
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Pedicini was asked why the campaign is calling the story fake news despite the information revealed by Miami University. He said, “That’s all I got for
you right now.”
The fake news is that the candidate did not graduate from Miami University, especially in the degree program listed on her proof. Howard said she did and posted partial transcripts as corroboration. The college on the other hand refutes her claims.
FLA News first broke the story and reports:
According to Miami University, Howard did attend but there is no record of her earning a degree either in 1994, which she initially claimed, or in 1996, which she later claimed.
The degree Howard was holding in the picture contains inconsistencies, according to the university’s general counsel.
Miami University does not offer a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, instead it offers a Bachelor of Science in Business. Howard’s major while attending Miami University was Retailing and if she had graduated would have received a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences.
The diploma Howard is holding contains the signatures of James C. Garland, President and Robert C. Johnson, Dean. Mr. Garland was President of Miami University in 1996, but Mr. Johnson was dean of the graduate school not the dean for either the School of Business nor the School of Education and Allied Professions. Johnson would not have signed Howard’s diploma.
While removing several of the photos from her official Facebook page including one that partially showed her college transcripts, Howard maintains her collegiate status and blamed the confusion on her rival Sarasota attorney Tommy Gregory. They are currently locked in a tight Republican primary. Gregory has denied bankrolling the smear campaign releasing this statement:
“Instead of providing evidence refuting the direct questions raised in the story, Ms. Howard chose to pivot and attack the Gregory campaign for lying about her record. On the contrary, however, the Tommy Gregory campaign has made no statement of any kind related to the article, and while Ms. Howard may have some explaining to do, we will leave that to her, the media, and the voters of District 73.”
There is some speculation that with nearly two weeks left until the Republican primary, Howard will pull out of the race. Sources within the campaign reveal that in light of the degree controversy and the husband’s health scare, exiting the race is almost a given. There is also speculation that Donald Trump has shown interest in Howard’s campaign. Trump shares the disdain for fake media and the havoc it has wreaked on American politics. Trump also is alleged to have said that Howard “reminds me of Ivanka.” The intense scrutiny she is under would make it difficult to stay in this race.