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Despite questions about her background, Elizabeth McCarthy vows to stay in HD 28 race

‘I am MOVING FORWARD.’

State House candidate Elizabeth McCarthy on Sunday evening said that reports calling into question her background — including unverifiable claims of her being a doctor who treated Pulse shooting patients — were a “campaign smearing.”

In a Facebook post, she also vowed to continue her campaign as a Democrat running for House District 28 in Seminole County.

McCarthy posted an 800 word-plus statement, detailing a life story that notably makes no reference to any of the specific experiences she previously professed.

On Friday, the claims that Florida Politics could not verify included: her being a doctor; working at Orlando Regional Medical Center; treating Pulse nightclub shooting victims on June 12, 2016; attending the University of Florida and Florida State University; getting a bachelor’s degree from Florida State; playing basketball for the Gators and later for the Seminoles; attending the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine; or receiving a medical degree from UCF.

McCarthy’s Sunday statement does mention going to an unnamed college; playing basketball until she injured her knee; working as a nurse, as a lifeguard at Walt Disney World, and at the Nielsen ratings service; founding and running a non-profit organization and a for-profit company in the health care field; and about a battle she fought against ovarian cancer.

“I did think about shutting down my campaign after this attack I was not ready for. I am not going to do that,” McCarthy wrote in her post. “I have a passion for legislation, apparently not up to snuff on campaigning but I am learning. I am MOVING FORWARD.”

She said she would return any campaign contributions if contributors wish. Through May 31, her campaign had reported receiving 19 contributions totaling $1,506.

McCarthy, 50, of Sanford, is seeking to unseat Republican state Rep. David Smith of Winter Springs, who currently holds the seat. Democrat Lee Mangold also is running.

“I will be seeking an attorney, for a Cease and Desist Order and ask for a Retraction on the latest accusations against me,” McCarthy also wrote in her post.

Ed. Note — The ability to view the post has since been restricted; a text version of the full post is below.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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