By Robbie Ward
TUPELO – Credibility issues continued to grow for the 1st Congressional District’s Democratic nominee after the university where the candidate claimed to have graduated wouldn’t confirm his academic credentials.
The latest issue comes just days after Flemron “Ron” Earl Dickey of Horn Lake clarified that his military service never included the elite Green Beret special forces.
Dickey claims to have graduated in 2012 from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor of science degree in emergency management. Nick Knudson, GCU alumni events and promotions manager, confirmed Dickey’s attendance at the university. However, the university’s records showed no one with Dickey’s name with a diploma from the institution.
“We did our research and are unable to confirm his graduation status,” Knudson told the Daily Journal.
Dickey has backtracked on statements since last week describing himself as a “Green Beret veteran.” While he never served in the Army’s special forces, Dickey did wear a green beret as a military cook.
In November, voters will decide whether to support Dickey’s bid to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who faces two other challengers. The Democrat’s campaign focus has shifted in recent days from support for liberal issues to defending more claims.
Dickey describes himself in social media posts as an Operation Desert Storm veteran. Dickey’s own military records conflict with that claim, showing him cooking in Korea during the military conflict.
Angry military service members and supporters from throughout the country and beyond have created an online bullhorn to shout down the political candidate’s personal claims.
Even Rickey Cole, executive director of the Mississippi Democratic Party, seemed to distance himself from the party nominee.
“We repudiate any dishonest or misleading statements made as part of any Democratic candidate’s campaign,” Cole said Monday evening. “We expect Democratic nominees to stick to the facts.”
One fact seems to work in Dickey’s favor. While the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department did arrest him in 2012 on accusations of a felony bad check, the Army veteran never received a felony conviction.
Dickey never responded Monday to Daily Journal questions emailed at his request.
“I’ll respond just as soon as I get them,” he said.