The state nursing board scolded state Rep. Beverly Boswell in March for claiming to be a nurse on her campaign website and Facebook page — a misidentification that quickly became an issue in the Republican primary campaign leading up to Tuesday's election.
Boswell said the mistake was made by a campaign volunteer and that she was unaware of it until the board contacted her.
However, a campaign finance report from 2015 filed by Boswell's campaign also identifies her "job title/profession" as "nurse."
Boswell is a medical assistant and phlebotomist — someone who's trained to draw blood — from Dare County. First elected in 2016, she is now a member of the NC House health committee.
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Ashley Woolard, Boswell's opponent in the 2016 primary, also contacted The News & Observer to say Boswell regularly described herself as a nurse on the campaign trail two years ago.
"On several occasions in Beaufort County during the 2016 race she stood in front of the assembled and claimed to be a Registered Nurse working in Dare County," Woolard said in an email.
"She made these specific claims at the Beaufort County GOP club meetings held in Chocowinity, NC during the primary season," he said. "The format there permitted each candidate to stand up and speak for about 3 minutes, telling a little bit about themselves and describe their campaign platform."
This year, Currituck County Board of Commissioners chairman Bobby Hanig, a fellow Republican, is challenging Boswell. He released a statement encouraging voters in NC House District 6 to vote for a "truthful" conservative.
Now his campaign has produced a mailer saying Boswell "claimed to be a nurse for years to gain support."
'I would tell him' ...
When asked about the campaign finance report via email, Boswell appears to have accidentally forwarded The N&O a copy of her correspondence with an adviser.
The email sent to the N&O says: "I would tell him that he would have to ask your treasurer at the time who completed and signed the form … that you have no idea why she put that on there. I don’t think we want to go into more detail than that."
The N&O also asked Boswell what she believed to be the most important issues in the race. The email Boswell forwarded says, among other things:
"My record in Raleigh proves that I can work with the leadership in the House and with our colleagues in the Senate to get things done. As a Freshman, I (fill in specific accomplishments from your first term)."
Minutes later, Boswell sent a different email that responded to the N&O's question this way:
"I was unaware of that error until recently. The treasurer who documented that error is no longer my treasurer," her email states.
It continues: "Please look at my attached Statement of Economic Interest form that I completed shortly after filing in 2016. I clearly state my profession as a medical assistant. As it has been previously stated to you, in every N.C. Government Directory as well as candidate profiles from the 2016 election, I have clearly stated my profession as a medical assistant/phlebotomist."
As for her record, her second email says: "As a Freshman, I been a strong voice in support of the commercial fishermen and other key sectors in my district. I have a proven and steadfast commitment to my constituents with one of the best records for attendance, thus, showing up and voting in the N.C. House of Representatives."