Erika Harold is trading in beauty for politics. The winner of the Miss America pageant in 2002 is rolling out three days worth of campaign announcements to launch her bid for one of Illinois’ seats in Congress.
“Our lives are defined not by the titles we earn but rather by the service we render,” she says in a YouTube video on her campaign website.
If she wins, this will be Harold’s first time holding political office. After her Miss America win, Harold became a prominent voice in the Republican party. She was a delegate for George W. Bush in 2004 and has frequently spoken at GOP fundraisers. Up until recently, Harold worked as an attorney. She did graduate from Harvard Law School, and Harold has said in the past that she feels qualified for a position in Congress.
“Hopefully, [the Miss America win is] a thing that gets someone’s attention, but then they will see that I graduated from Harvard Law School,” Harold told ABC News in 2012. “In a wide variety of ways am qualified to be in Congress.”
Harold’s competition for the congressional seat is Rep. Rodney Davis. In 2012, Harold lost to Davis when they fought to replace Rep. Tim Johnson.
“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,” Davis says in a statement to Pantagraph about Harold’s decision to run.