The Republican field to succeed Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.) continues to grow in the wake of his unexpected retirement announcement earlier this month.
Add former Miss America Erika Harold to the long list of those considering a campaign. The 2003 national pageant winner is a Chicago attorney originally from Champaign County — the most populous part of the district.
“I am exploring the possibility, but I haven’t made any decisions at this point,” Harold told Roll Call. “It would be such an honor and privilege to represent the area where I grew up.”
Many other contenders are already actively campaigning for the GOP nod: state Reps. Dan Brady and Adam Brown, state Sens. Sam McCann and Kyle McCarter, former state Rep. Mike Tate, real estate agent David Paul Blumenshine, former Johnson top aide Jerry Clarke and Rodney Davis, a former top aide to Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.).
Local GOP officials were scheduled to meet Monday night to discuss a timeline. The application process will finish in the next 10 days, according to state GOP Chairman Pat Brady. After that, local county party officials will pick a nominee out of the candidate pool.
Democrats finally have a nominee for the now-open seat almost two months after the primary.
Greene County State’s Attorney Matt Goetten conceded to emergency room physician David Gill on Friday. The Associated Press reported Gill had a slim 143-vote lead over Goetten at last count.
This downstate Illinois district is competitive in the general election.