Moore withdraws from School Board runoff election — apologizes for claiming to have Ph.D

Candidates Jennifer Moore and Bonnie Hauser.


Compiled by Michelle Casssell
Managing Editor

UPDATE.  April 25, 2024

Jennifer Moore has updated her statement on her campaign’s website: “If the official votes by the Orange County Board of Elections reflect a secured seat in my name, I want to inform you all that I will not be returning to The Orange County Board of Education seat for the upcoming four-year term. Due to ongoing health concerns, I have made the decisions to not continue my service.”

She went on to say: “Lastly, I accept responsibility for not clarifying that I do not have a Ph.D.”

Jennifer Moore, one of the two candidates running for the Orange County Schools Board of Education in the upcoming runoff, posted on her campaign’s website today, “…My medical issues have taken a severe toll on my physical health, and I am currently undergoing medical treatment.

I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported me the last four years and especially, those who supported me most recently. Thank you for all of your kind words, actions, donations, and support. It has been a pleasure to serve the students of Orange County Schools.”

Moore did not address the upcoming runoff in her posting. Mail-in ballots for the runoff have already been submitted, and early voting starts this Thursday, April 25. Voting in person is scheduled for May 14.

Moore was a member of the Board until Monday night when she resigned. During the meeting, the chair of the Board, Anne Purcell, said Moore resigned for “health reasons.”

Before Monday’s meeting, the News and Observer reported that there were questions about Moore’s Doctorate degree. They reported that neither Bellevue University in Nebraska nor Bellevue College in Washington has a record of Moore’s degree. TLR confirmed the N&O report by contacting the universities, who confirmed that there was no record of Moore’s doctorate degree.

Orange County Elections Director Rachel Raper told TLR that the resignation will not impact the runoff election, “Mail-in ballots have already been sent to many voters, and in-person early voting in the race begins on Thursday.  Moore is still on the ballot.”

Bonnie Hauser is running against Moore in the upcoming runoff.  In earlier reporting by TLR, Orange County Elections Director Rachel Raper told TLR, “School board candidates have to receive at least 50% of the total votes cast to be elected, which in this race was at least 6,563 votes for each of the three winners. Moore received 6,497 votes before the counting of pending and absentee ballots on March 14”.  The official results were released on March 15.  Moore had not received the required votes, finishing with 6,528. Candidate Bonnie Hauser then asked for a runoff.

Michelle Cassell is a seasoned reporter who has covered everything from crime to hurricanes and local politics to human interest over the course of 35 years. As managing editor, she hopes to encourage writers of a wide range of backgrounds and interests in TLR’s coverage of Southern Orange County news. 

This reporter can be reached at Info@TheLocal

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1 Comment on "Moore withdraws from School Board runoff election — apologizes for claiming to have Ph.D"

  1. Thank you for your timely reporting on this story.

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