Illinois GOP leader sends racist rant aimed at former Miss USA

Illinois GOP leader sends racist email aimed at former Miss America

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Erika Harold is a Harvard educated lawyer, a former Miss America, and a conservative Republican who's now running for Congress.

Her beauty queen credentials have gotten her lots of attention, but an email that surfaced today could get her a lot more.

Harold is running against incumbent Rodney Davis in a primary next March. Since she is bi-racial, GOP activist Doug Ibendahl wrote that she'd be good for the party.

"Just be a great face for the Republican party," Ibendahl wrote. "We could actually do, in Illinois, we could do more than talk about diversity. We could actually promote it."

But last night, Ibendahl received an email from Jim Allen, the chairman of the Montgomery County Republican party, south of Springfield. Allen is backing Rodney Davis and he wrote that Harold is being "used like a street walker," that she's "the love child" of the Democrats, and that someday she'll be "working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires." Ibendahl says Allen ought to resign his party chairmanship.

"This is bad for the Republican party," Ibendahl says. "This stay in the back of the bus mentality is exactly why the Republican Party keeps losing in Illinois"

Congressman Davis' office put out a statement saying, "Mr. Allen's comments are misguided and wrong and certainly do not reflect the views of Congressman Davis or his campaign."

Allen did not return our calls or emails, and neither did Erika Harold. FOX 32 News also learned that Allen works for the state as a warehouse worker for Secretary of State Jesse White. A spokesman for White called the email "despicable" but said Allen could not be fired because he sent the email on his own time.

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