Johnson calls Erika Harold "terrific choice"

Johnson calls Erika Harold "terrific choice"

SAVOY — While U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson isn't officially endorsing any of the four candidates competing for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 13th District, Johnson said he believes Urbana native Erika Harold would be "a terrific choice."

"I have been in government and politics for 44 years, and I don't know if I have ever encountered an individual who has better credentials, would be a better candidate or would be a more outstanding congressman than Erika Harold," he said.

Johnson made his comments Friday at a press conference at Willard Airport devoted to his opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act.

Johnson stressed that he has been asked by the county Republican chairmen, who will be making the selection, not to endorse a candidate.

Harold, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Illinois and Harvard Law School, is opposed by Jerry Clarke of Urbana, Rodney Davis of Taylorville and Kathy Wassink of Shipman.

Johnson said he doesn't know Davis or Wassink very well, but he has had a close friendship with Clarke for 25 to 30 years.

Last month Johnson said in an emailed statement that he didn't believe Clarke, his former chief of staff, or any of his current or former staff members should be a candidate to replace him.

"We have four well-qualified people, but there is an overwhelming outpouring of support for Erika Harold," Johnson said.

"In a time when we have too many Tim Johnsons who have been doing this for 44 years, she is a breath of fresh air."

Johnson said that, as far as he knows, Harold — an attorney and a former Miss America — would become the first black female Republican congressman if she is elected.

"If she is chosen and elected, I think it would be an historic time for America," Johnson said. "She is a first class young lady."

Johnson said he voted against the National Defense Authorization Act because it calls for a slowdown of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, because it increases spending on core defense programs and because it allows for the permanent detainment of U.S. citizens suspected for terrorist activities.

"We have failed to deal with issues of fiscal responsibility, dramatically increasing the appropriations for the defense department even above the President's requested level," Johnson said. "We have passed an act in the House that I think is, not only over the edge, but fails to address any significant issues with respect to our involvement overseas and any significant issues with respect to human rights here at home."

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Local Yocal wrote on May 19, 2012 at 9:05 am
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Just not buying it at this time. Harold didn't set up legal shop in this district, didn't run in the primary against Johnson, has never represented a client on a wrongful conviction, and has no legislative experience. Until she proves otherwise, grabbing a congressional seat because it's available is but a stepping stone for her real ambition- not to serve the public- but to serve her personal ambition. What may be really in play here is her desire to be the next Senator from Illinois- Barak II, the Republican version. Hence her unrealistic platitudes toward "issues" without any research, without any thought. "Hi, I'm Republican Lite and nice!" No thanks. Has she even looked at a federal budget? Doubt it. Does her Harvard law degree comprehend the Patriot Act, the powers granted to law enforcement in the name in terrorism? Probably not. Popularity is a poor qualifier to public service.

areader wrote on May 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

Oh my gosh, I forgot to vote!  Oh wait, there was NO ELECTION . . . . . . 

DEB wrote on May 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

So Johnson endorses a carpetbagger with no experience and few credentials while stabbing his friend and chief of staff in the back. It doesn't hurt that Harold's mommy and daddy are Johnson campaign donors, and Harold appears to have a lot of money behind her.  But really, why should I vote for someone who had the choice to live and work in Champaign-Urbana decides to abandon us for Chicago?  I expect that, if elected, she will do the same to us in Congress and work hard for Chicago's big-money special interests who will enrich her while she lets the 13th district fall apart.

Just what we need.

johnny wrote on May 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I never knew you could live somewhere most of your life and be a carpetbagger there.  Thanks for setting me straight.

gollygeewillikers wrote on May 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

Yawn.... and round and round we go....

airrecon wrote on May 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm


jlawless wrote on May 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Central Illinois BEWARE:  Erika Harold is the choice of CORPORATE bankers and heavily financed by by corporate lobbyists.  If you love Wall Street bankers you will love her.  Do any of the articles explore her opinions on the corporate personhood doctrine? 


Why not ask what she has actually done with her law degree?  The answer is she defends bankers - not people - please vote in someone that wants to represent people and not bankers and corporations.  . 

Orbiter wrote on May 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

"...I don't know if I have ever encountered an individual who... would be a better candidate or would be a more outstanding congressman than Erika Harold," he said.

Is this how you don't endorse someone?  What could he possibly say to strengthen the obvious endorsement?

jlawless wrote on May 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

deleted repeat post

Local Yocal wrote on May 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm
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Yep. A quick glance at the corporate law firm's website that "the christian" joined, and it's clear she went with the Dark Side. Here is the firm's take on healthcare:
"We provide counsel for a wide variety of health care entities, both for-profit and not-for-profit, including PBMs, pharmacies, hospitals, home health agencies, bio-tech companies, health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, physician groups and professional associations, clinical research and site management organizations and durable medical equipment suppliers."

Should be an interesting debate with Dr. Gill on healthcare. Oh wait, she'll take a page out of Tim Johnson's playbook, and NOT debate Gill. Were Harold to suggest to rural communities that healthcare be expanded to the poor, would likely get her fired after the election. So... shutting up and smiling pretty for the cameras; and telling Republicans that Republicans are nice too should defeat Gill by 5 points.