Former Miss America Erika Harold on Tuesday launched a bid to oust freshman GOP Rep. Rodney Davis.
Harold, who won the pageant in 2003, says she will take on the Illinois congressman in a Republican primary. She made the announcement in a video posted on her website.
Story continues below video.
Davis represents Illinois' 13th District in the center of the state and includes the city of Decatur.
"I've learned that our lives are defined, not by the titles we've earned, but the service we render," Harold says in the video. "At each point in my life I have sought to serve."
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Harold, 33, an attorney, is a native of Champaign who lived in Chicago until last month. She has planned a three-day festival of campaign announcements in the district's various cities and towns.
During her reign as Miss America, Harold pushed a theme of sexual abstinence.
She was a convention delegate for President George W. Bush in 2004. She was seen as the possible Republican candidate in the district last year, when incumbent Republican Tim Johnson exited the election after winning the primary. But party leaders chose Davis instead.
He appears vulnerable, given that he had the smallest margin of victory of any Republican voted to Congress last year -- 1,002 votes out of 294,385 cast.
In a statement released Monday night, Davis said, "It's unfortunate that in today's political environment campaigns never end, but my focus has been and will continue to be working hard in Washington and in Illinois for the families of the 13th District," the Bloomington, Ill. Pantagraph reports
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