theGrio’s 100: Erika Harold, ex-Miss America hopes to become congresswoman

Who is Erika Harold?

The 2003 Miss America is now running for a U.S. House seat in Illinois. If Erika Harold won, she would be the only black female Republican in Congress.

Why is she on theGrio’s 100?

Harold’s run for Congress is actually a long time coming. A year after being crowned Miss America, she was on stage at the Republican National Convention, delivering a speech in favor of George W. Bush and his faith-based initiatives program. She headed to Harvard Law school soon after.

She’s now running in a central Illinois district that includes the area where Harold grew up. But she faces an uphill climb because Harold is running against fellow Republican and incumbent congressman Rodney Davis  in a primary. Top Republicans in Illinois have rallied behind Davis in part because he is already a Republican in office and they see no reason to replace him with Harold. That backing from the party establishment has helped Davis in raising money as he is well ahead of Harold in terms of campaign funds.

Harold’s candidacy is so controversial that last year, a Republican chairman of one of the countries in her district mocked her as “Little Queenie” and the “love child” of Democrats, according to The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine. That official was forced to resign.

What’s next for Harold?

The primary is on March 18.

Harold’s politics are conservative. If she ever gets to Washington, she will, like other House Republicans, be an opponent of President Obama’s agenda.

“The Obamacare act exacerbated some of the worst parts of our health care system,” she told Politico in an interview.