Congressional candidate’s bio once listed unearned college degree

In official bios posted on websites, to Wikipedia and in widespread media reports, congressional candidate Niger Innis is listed as a 1990 graduate of Georgetown University, although he never completed his degree in political science.

But Innis said through his campaign that he didn’t intentionally mislead people about his background and that more current information on his campaign website — nigerinnis.com — and Facebook page —

.facebook.com/pages/Niger-Innis/165079270285540 — note he only “attended” Georgetown.

His campaign said they traced the inaccurate information to a bio posted on the website of the New York office of the Congress of Racial Equality — core-online.org/Staff/niger.htm — where he’s the national spokesman. His father, Roy Innis, leads the organization. He said he didn’t realize the incorrect resume was on the website.

“He said he just never paid attention to the New York website,” said Lisa Mayo DeRiso, Innis’s campaign manager. “We’ve made sure our campaign is accurate. The old stuff is a mishap and it’s being corrected.”

DeRiso said Innis had noticed that some news organizations listed him as a Georgetown graduate, including Politico Arena profiles of politicians, “but that he didn’t know how to fix it. He knew it needed to be corrected.”

DeRiso said the campaign on Tuesday began the process of moving to correct the bad resume information, which appeared widespread, including on a speakers bureau website: nationalcenter.org/bios/P21Speakers_InnisN.html. Wikipedia — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_Innis — cited as its source the main CORE profile of Innis.

Innis, a tea party member who backed Herman Cain’s presidential campaign, is running in the GOP primary against Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, R-Mesquite. Hardy has the support of top state Republicans, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.

The winner of the June 10 primary will face freshman U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., in the Nov. 4 general election. The vast rural-urban Congressional District 4 leans Democratic, giving Horsford a big edge.

As recently as last month, a Reno TV station, KRNV-TV, Channel 4, reported that Innis was a Georgetown graduate in a story about his congressional campaign.

Innis’ campaign said he never finished college because his mother became ill. He quit school to stay with her until she died, DeRiso said. After that, he went to work for CORE “and never got back” to Georgetown.

Contact reporter Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Follow her on Twitter @lmyerslvrj.