Oregon state representatives candidate drops out of race over false claim that she had a university degree
Amanda La Bell, 41, has withdrawn from race for the State House District 54 seat
La Bell ran with the Working Families Party and was the hope for Democrats to win a supermajority in the House
She announced she’s pulling out of race on Wednesday after she was outed for lying on voter pamphlet statements about her education
She claimed she graduated from Valdosta State University in Georgia when she attended the school for just one semester
Making false statements in the voter guide is a class C felony
Liberal candidate, Amanda La Bell. announced she’s ending her campaign for the State House District 54 seat on Wednesday
A freshman candidate vying for a seat on the Oregon State Representatives dropping out of the political race after she was exposed s having lied about her college degree.
Amanda La Bell, 41, was the Working Families Party candidate in Bend for House District 54, but she announced she’s ending her campaign on Wednesday after lying about her education in her Voters’ Pamphlet statement.
Her candidacy was called into question after it was reported that she falsely claimed to have earned a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University in Georgia.
In fact she withdrew from the college after just one semester of enrollment.
Making false statements in the voter guide is a class C felony,
Speaking to The Bulletin., she wrote ‘Regarding my college education, I attended Gulf Coast Community College for two years then transferred to Valdosta State University in the pursuit of my Bachelors of Arts in Music,’ La Bell told The Bulletin in an email.
La Bell announced she’s pulling out of race on Wednesday after she was outed for lying on voter pamphlet statements about her education. She claimed she earned a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University in Georgia, when she attended school for just one semester.
‘However, after one semester at Valdosta State University, I had to withdraw and enter the workforce. Through the years I tried to re-enter college but, like many working families, I faced significant barriers to completing my degree,’ she added.
The Oregon Working Families Party announced the end of Amanda La Bell’s candidacy and her campaign on Wednesday
On her LinkedIn she formerly listed having a bachelors of art, but she has removed it following her clarification.
She claims that including her education in her official Voters Pamphlet statement was not deliberate.
‘Due to an oversight during the rapid launch of my campaign, this error was mistakenly repeated in the voter’s guide. Unfortunately, I did not catch this until it was too late to correct. I have shared this error with my supporters and take complete responsibility for the mistake,’ she said.
She also penned a letter to the Bend community on Tuesday clarifying her actions.
‘Throughout my studies, I struggled to balance work, school, financial pressures, and caring for my family. Ultimately I couldn’t strike that balance, and for years, I felt a deep sense of guilt and shame at not being able to achieve the milestone of a college degree,’ she said.
‘Neither my campaign nor I knowingly made false claims in the Voter’s Pamphlet Statement. I realize that claiming to have earned a Bachelor’s degree is unacceptable and wrong, and I express my profound apologies to all affected by this,’ she added.
‘As a Party, we believe that when a candidate no longer has the trust of their community, they should withdraw their candidacy.
‘Before nominating Amanda, we subjected her to the full vetting process that all candidates receive before they are nominated. Unfortunately, she was not fully forthcoming in this process and neglected to share the information that was released to the public this week,’ the statement added.
Her withdrawal is a blow for Democrats hopeful to take over the House, as they’re just one vote short of a supermajority.
Because Boddie refused to step down, La Bell ran with the Working Families Party and could’ve been the key to having a supermajority in the House, which would allow Democrats to pass financial and tax bills without GOP help, according to Oregon Live.
With La Bell’s withdrawal and Boddie running on the Democratic ticket, Republican candidate Cheri Helt seems likely to win the seat, which has run by Republicans for the past four terms.
The Bend Source reports that La Bell entered the race in August, winning endorsements from Governor Kate Brown and former Governor Barbara Roberts as well as other Democratic-leaning groups.
It is now too late for the Working Families Party to replace La Bell or remove her name from the November 6 ballot.
House Republicans filed a complaint against La Bell on Tuesday with executive director of Oregon Leadership PAC Preston Mann sending Steve Trout of the Oregon Elections Division a letter requesting La Bell’s false claim be investigated, according to Bend Source.