Seminole County Democratic party asks candidate to withdraw after credential questions

Florida House candidate Elizabeth McCarthy claims to be medical doctor

By Louis Bolden - Investigative Reporter

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - The Seminole County Democratic Party has withdrawn its support of a candidate running for Florida House of Representatives after the candidate claimed to be a doctor who treated Pulse victims but her credentials can not be verified.

In March, Elizabeth McCarthy spoke at a town hall meeting about gun violence hosted by Rep. Darren Soto. McCarthy is running for Florida House District 28, which encompasses Seminole County.

Soto introduced her as a doctor, and she told the crowd that she treated patients after the shooting at Pulse nightclub.

"That night of Pulse, I personally removed 77 bullets from 32 people," McCarthy said at the event. "It is probably one of the hardest things of my career to work through."

News 6 has now confirmed with the Florida Department of Health that McCarthy does not have a license to practice medicine and never has.

Officials with DOH said she was a licensed registered nurse but that license expired back in 2005.

Brittany Nethers is the communication chair with the Seminole County Democratic Party.

"It was definitely something that is shocking to our community, but I guess it's something that needs to be verified this day and age," Nethers said.

The news of McCarthy's possible fabrications spread quickly.

In a tweet, Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf wrote, "I don't know why she lied and used our grief for her gain, but she needs to withdraw and let us heal."

Until now, McCarthy had the Democratic Party's support. However, the party asked her to verify her credentials and she refused, according to Nethers.

"I think she does need to step down from her current positions, as well as stepping back as a candidate," Nethers said.

News 6 spoke with McCarthy.  She says her employer has asked her not to comment but said she will make a statement in the next couple of days.

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