* I’m told that former Miss America Erica Harold is interested in replacing Republican Congressman Tim Johnson on the ballot. From her Wikipedia page…
Erika N. Harold (born 1980) was Miss America 2003, having qualified for the pageant by being selected Miss Illinois 2002. Her official platform was “Preventing Youth Violence and Bullying: Protect Yourself, Respect Yourself.” This platform choice was said to have grown out of personal experience; she recounts having been the subject of racial and sexual harassment while growing up. However, in the first week of her reign, she also adopted a dual platform for Sexual Abstinence, causing some pageant observers to accuse her of harboring a hidden agenda. She held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington during which she claimed the Miss America organization was bullying her.
Harold’s ethnic background is extremely varied. On her father’s side, she has Greek, German and Welsh ancestry, and on her mother’s side, Native-American, African-American and Russian descent.
Harold was born in Urbana, Illinois. She attended University High School and Urbana High School in Urbana, and later graduated from the University of Illinois as a Phi Beta Kappa honoree. In 2007, she graduated Harvard University’s Law School and as of June 2008 was employed as an associate attorney at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago, Illinois, but is no longer at the firm.
Harold is politically conservative, and was the Youth Director for the Republican primary campaign of Illinois gubernatorial candidate Patrick O’Malley. She later served as a delegate to the 2004 Republican National Convention.