An American Working Families Party candidate quit an Oregon state legislative race Wednesday amid false claims about her university degree, according to reports.
Amanda La Bell, 41, dropped out of the race for House District 54 in Bend, Ore., the Oregonian reported, citing an announcement from the party.
Her departure gives a boost to Republicans’ hopes of keeping the House District 54 seat, the Oregonian reported.
“We are sorry that Bend voters will no longer have an opportunity to vote for a State Representative who can effectively fight for issues impacting Oregon’s working families,” the party’s statement said.
The Bend Bulletin had reported Tuesday that La Bell falsely claimed on her official Voters Pamphlet statement to have earned a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University in Georgia, calling into question her candidacy’s legitimacy.
Democrats had turned to La Bell in hopes of winning a three-fifths supermajority in the state’s House, amid sexual misconduct allegations against their candidate, Nathan Boddie, according to the Oregonian.
Boddie, a Bend city councilor, had denied the allegations and also refused to allow Democrats to replace him with another candidate, the report said.
Democrats would need one more seat in the Oregon House to win the supermajority that would allow the party to pass tax bills without GOP votes, the Oregonian reported.
The Secretary of State’s Office said it was too late to withdraw La Bell’s Voters Pamphlet statement, the Bend Bulletin reported.
“We are supportive of Amanda in putting the needs of her community first by suspending her campaign.”
It was also too late for the American Working Families Party to replace La Bell with another candidate or remove her name from the ballot for Nov. 6, according to the Oregonian.
“We are supportive of Amanda in putting the needs of her community first by suspending her campaign,” the Working Families Party statement read, according to Oregon’s KTVZ-TV.
“We are so grateful to the Bend residents who trusted us with this effort, and, above all, we are unwavering in our commitment to fighting hand-in-hand with the community for a Bend that works for all of us.”
Republican Knute Buehler, running for governor, left the Bend House seat open.
The GOP candidate is Cheri Helt, a restaurateur and Bend-La Pine School Board member, the Bulletin reported.
Bend is about a three-hour drive southeast of Portland, Ore.