Former Miss America Says Potential Campaign Donors Being Intimidated


The 2003 Miss America, who is challenging a Republican incumbent for a U.S. House seat, says potential donors are being intimidated by unnamed parties and warned not to give money to her campaign.

Erika Harold, a Harvard Law School graduate who is running against sitting congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) in the Republican primary, made the allegations in an interview with the State Journal-Register’s editorial board.

“There are absolutely people who say to me, ‘I cannot give because I have been told I cannot give to your campaign,’” Harold said.

Other donors have been giving smaller amounts so their donations won’t be reported by the Federal Election Commission, she said. Harold didn’t say who had allegedly been intimidating her potential supporters, and the Davis campaign denied its involvement to the newspaper.

At the end of 2013, Harold had $122,000 on hand, according to the State Journal-Register, and Davis had $1.1 million.

“To me, it underscores a fundamental problem with the political process, that people in the United States of America feel that they would face retribution for being able to exercise their First Amendment rights to political expression,” Harold said of the alleged intimidation. “What potential donors tell me is there are a variety of people who have told them specifically they cannot donate, and that is at all levels of the political process.”