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Former Miss America Erika Harold To Run For Congress In Illinois

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Former Miss America Erika Harold is set to run for Congress in 2014, mounting a primary challenge against Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) in Illinois' 13th District.

The Pantagraph reports that Harold, who won the pageant in 2002, will roll out her congressional campaign in a series of Central Illinois events over the next three days.

In 2012, Harold was one of four Republican finalists tapped to replace Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) on the ballot after the Republican decided against a reelection bid. GOP officials ultimately chose Davis, who defeated Democrat David Gill in November.

While she was under consideration by the GOP last year, Harold said she believed her status as a Miss America winner would help her political future.

“Hopefully, it’s a thing that gets someone’s attention, but then they will see that I graduated from Harvard Law School…and in a wide variety of ways am qualified to be in Congress,” she told ABC News last May.

After winning the Miss America crown, Harold caused a stir by adopting abstinence as her "platform."

"Quite frankly," Harold said at the time, "There are pressures from some sides not to promote [abstinence] ... I will not be bullied."

Since then, Harold has remained active in the Republican Party. In 2004, Harold was a delegate for former President George W. Bush during the Republican National Convention, where she had a speaking role. She's also spoken at a number of GOP fundraisers and party dinners.

Until recently, Harold worked as an attorney in Chicago. However, last month the News-Gazette reported she was moving back to the Champaign-Urbana area, foreshadowing a potential run in the district.

Democrat Ann Callis has also announced plans to run for the post.

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