Erika Harold announced today that she was “exploring the possibility” to be a Republican candidate for Congress in the new 13th Congressional District. Harold, who won Miss America in 2003, currently works as a lawyer in Chicago.
The New Gazette reports that U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson decided not to return to return to congress. Harold said that once the seat opened up she started receiving calls from people urging her to run.
I am completely humbled and honored… I understand what an awesome responsibility it is to represent people’s interests and to be their advocate in Washington, D.C. I have spoken with some county chairmen. This is not a decision that I take lightly. I would consider it an incredible honor and privilege to represent the area in which I grew up. I will be assessing in my own heart whether I felt that I was the best person to represent the 13th District. If I did I would likely put my name forth.”
Harold is best known for her wearing the Miss America sash but she won’t be running on good looks alone to get the House seat. Harold received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She now practices civil litigation and is on the board of directors of Prison Fellowship ministries. Harold said that her work with the Prison Fellowship ministries, which was founded by Chuck Colson, stems from her Miss America anti-bullying platform.
“It is an outreach to children of incarcerated people. They’re often a stigmatized population and especially with the work that I’ve done to help prevent bullying, being able to reach out to these kids who are very much on the margins and don’t have a parent there to provide guidance, that’s something I’m really passionate about.”