Herman Cain to campaign for former Miss America

2014-01-20T18:11:00Z 2014-01-20T21:00:48Z Herman Cain to campaign for former Miss AmericaKurt Erickson Times Bureau The Quad-City Times
January 20, 2014 6:11 pm  • 

SPRINGFIELD — Herman Cain, the 2012 presidential candidate and former chief executive officer of Godfather's Pizza, is traveling to Illinois next month to campaign on behalf of former Miss America Erika Harold.

Harold said Monday that Cain will accompany her to events in Edwardsville and Champaign on Feb. 1 as she attempts to derail Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis' bid for a second term.

Harold, an attorney from Urbana, and Michael Firsching, a veterinarian from Moro, are challenging Davis for the Republican nomination in Illinois' 13th Congressional District, which stretches across central Illinois and includes all or parts of Bloomington-Normal, Decatur and Taylorville.

Democrats in the race include former judge Ann Callis of Edwardsville and Champaign residents George Gollin and David Green.

Cain's visit is the latest by the candidates to bring some star power to the race. Callis recently touted a visit by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., while Davis had U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., in Springfield on Saturday.

The Cain visit comes as Harold said she has struggled to raise money and hire employees and vendors because of pressure from the "political establishment" brought on by her challenge of an incumbent in a race being targeted by Democrats.

Two former employees of retired U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson of Urbana helped her in the early days of her campaign, but they have since parted ways. Her father, Bob Harold, is now serving as campaign manager. Former Johnson aide Mark Shelden is serving as a consultant.

The 2003 Miss America and Harvard law school graduate also said she has hired the services of Petra Strategies LLC, a lobbying group, to help with the campaign.

Davis is expected to report raising $280,000 in the final quarter of 2013, leaving him with just more than $1 million to spend, but Harold's campaign has declined to say how much she has raised. Campaign finance reports are scheduled to be filed Jan. 31.

"My focus is on winning in March. I don't want to get derailed by a focus on political tactics," she said. "I want to go to Washington, D.C., to ensure those kind of strategies don't go unchallenged."

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