By CATHY SANTOS • May 22, 2012
Last Saturday, GOP officials in Illinois had an incredible opportunity to choose Erika Harold, a highly qualified conservative black woman, to replace retiring Congressman Tim Johnson on the November ballot. Instead a small group of party insiders chose Rodney Davis, someone who personifies the stereotypical view some voters have of the Republican Party – wealthy, white, arrogant, and with a massive sense of entitlement.
Erika Harold would have put the Illinois GOP into the national spotlight – and her candidacy would have helped all Republican candidates up and down the ballot, and all across the state. For the first time in a long time the Illinois Republican Party could have done something to help itself. Instead, a few good-old-boys decided to go out of their way to set the Illinois GOP further back.
The good news is there are plenty of other states where GOP officials do have a clue. Republicans in Utah certainly get it.
The Utah GOP is proudly promoting Mia Love – a conservative black Republican currently running in Utah’s newly formed 4th Congressional District. Utah Republicans are understandably excited about Ms. Love and are promising to spare no expense in helping getting her elected.
If Mia Love is victorious in November, she will become the first black Republican woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s an incredible story – and one that could have included Illinois.
From ABC News:
Mia Love is unlike any Congressional candidate ever — she is African-American, she is Mormon, and she is conservative. Republicans have deemed her race in Utah’s newly drawn 4th district one of the top ten most important races in the country, vowing to spare no expense to get her to Congress. If she wins, Love would be the first black Republican woman ever elected to the House of Representatives.
Check out this week’s Spinners and Winners to hear Love’s first order of business should she get to Washington, and her response to people who say her race is playing an out-sized role in all the attention she is receiving from the Republican party.
Mia Love is a phenomenal candidate – maybe even approaching Erika Harold caliber.
The Illinois GOP blew it again. Big time.
Cathy Santos is a Republican political consultant.