Erika Harold, a former Miss America-turned-attorney from Urbana, Ill., will challenge U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., for the Republican nomination to the central Illinois' 13th Congressional district in 2014, Harold announced today.
We'll save you the math: The Nov. 4, 2014, general election is exactly 18 months from today – for an office in which the term lasts just two years.
And Harold isn't even the first announced candidate. Former Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis of Troy announced last month that she will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat, and the national Democratic Party has already started gearing up behind her.
The 13th Congressional district, which stretches from the Metro East to the Champaign area. Davis, a freshman, took office in January, in a redrawn district where neither party has a lock. He was immediately labeled a top national target of the Democrats—and now of at least one Republican.
“Our lives are defined not by the titles we we earn but rather by the service we render,” Harold, 33, says in a YouTube video announcing her candidacy. She notes she held the title of Miss America 2003, promoting prevention of youth violence and bullying in that capacity, and that she attended Harvard Law School. “At each point in my life, I've sought to serve.”
Davis responded in a written statement: “It’s unfortunate that in today’s political environment campaigns never end, but my focus has been and will continue to be on working hard in Washington and in Illinois for the families of the 13th District.” He touted his focus on Congress on debt control and job creation.