UPDATE: Saturday morning, the 13th CD county chairmen chose to make Rodney Davis, who works for Congressman John Shimkus' district staff and directed the IL GOP's 2010 Victory campaign, to be the GOP's 13th CD candidate in the November 2012 election.
CHAMPAIGN - Although retiring Congressman Tim Johnson (IL-13) has promised GOP county chairmen he would not endorse between four Republicans vying to be the 13th CD candidate, he was very complimentary Friday of Erika Harold, an attorney from Champaign. The 13th CD county chairmen will decide Saturday which one of the four GOP candidates will face Democrat David Gill in November.
Johnson told reporters, "We have four well-qualified people, but there is an overwhelming outpouring of support for Erika Harold. In a time when we have too many Tim Johnsons who have been doing this for 44 years, she is a breath of fresh air."
Harold, who was Miss Illinois and Miss America in 2003, attended the University of Illinois-Champaign, went on to Harvard Law School and now works for a Chicago law firm. She serves on Prison Fellowship's board of directors, among other charitable efforts
Harold first got involved in Illinois politics when she coordinated College Republicans at the U of I and volunteered in the 2002 O'Malley for Governor campaign. Harold attended a Leadership Institute activist training course during the O'Malley campaign, coordinated by Blue Island Mayor Don Peloquin - who's now running for Congress in the 1st CD - and WLS AM talk show host Dan Proft.
During Harold's 2003 bid for Miss America, her platform was the value and importance of encouraging sexual abstinence. She's a social conservative, and would be the first Republican black Congresswoman if she were to be elected in November.
The other candidates being considered are former Johnson chief of staff Jerry Clarke, Shimkus staff member Rodney Davis and 9-12 leader Sharon Wassink.