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Urbana Lawyer And Former Miss America Sets Sights On Attorney General

Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media
Erika Harold

A new Republican challenger for Illinois Attorney General says she’ll do a better job taking on public corruption than incumbent Democrat Lisa Madigan.

Urbana attorney Erika Harold announced her plans this week to seek the Republican nomination for the 2018 Attorney General race. Harold said she would serve the public’s interests over political interests.

"Too often, we have seen scandals, whether it’s patronage hiring scandals happening in Springfield," she said, "and we have seen our current attorney general turning a blind eye."

Harold has entered politics before. In 2012, she was one of four finalists for the nomination to represent the 13th Illinois District in Congress before Republican county chairmen chose Rodney Davis.  In 2014, she unsuccessfully challenged Davis in the Republican primary.

Harold is a graduate of Harvard Law School and won the title of Miss America in 2003.

Lisa Madigan

Madigan, who has been Illinois Attorney General since 2003, said she doesn’t know much about her possible opponent in next year’s election. She was in Champaign Wednesday for a student loan forum.

Madigan says her record on fighting corruption speaks for itself.

“We initiated the investigation into Rod Blagojevich and all of his shenanigans,” she said, “so there’s a tremendous amount of work that the Attorney General’s office does.”

Madigan did confirm that she is running for re-election for a fifth term as Attorney General. She says she’ll run on her “…tremendous record of working on behalf of the people of the state of Illinois.”

  • Illinois Public Radio’s Brian Moline and Tony Arnold contributed to this report.