WASHINGTON — Jim Allen, the chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, resigned today after party leaders called on him to step down for offensive remarks he made about 13th Congressional District candidate Erika Harold of Urbana.
"Today, I accepted the resignation of Jim Allen as Montgomery County chairman," said Illinois Republican Party chairman Jack Dorgan. "These types of offensive and inappropriate remarks have no place in our Republican Party."
The announcement came after GOP officials, from the head of the Republican National Committee to U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis to area county chairmen, called on Allen to quit his post.
“The astonishingly offensive views expressed by Chairman Allen have absolutely no place among the leaders of our party at any level. His behavior is inexcusable and must not be tolerated. He should apologize to Erika Harold and resign immediately," said Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Earlier Thursday, Davis called on Allen to step down. Less than 24 hours before Allen had been listed on Davis’ campaign website as a member of “Team 2014,” individuals who support the Taylorville Republican for re-election next year.
But that was before an email surfaced in which Allen referred to Harold, who is challenging Davis in the Republican primary election next year, as a “love child” of the Democratic National Committee, and said that she would be defeated and would move back to Chicago “working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires.”
Harold, who is biracial, recently moved back to Champaign-Urbana to take a position with the Champaign law firm Meyer Capel and to run against Davis in the 13th Congressional District. The University of Illinois and Harvard Law School graduate also is a former Miss America.
Davis said Thursday that he had not had a chance to talk to Allen, but called the remarks “incredibly dumb” and “very disappointing.”
He said the comments “offended me as a father.”
Allen has worked for the Illinois secretary of state’s office since 1985 and is listed as a storekeeper. He made almost $52,000 in calendar year 2012.
“The secretary finds it despicable what he said,” said Dave Drucker, a spokesman for Secreary of State Jesse White, a Democrat.
Allen has since apologized for the remarks.
The original comments were contained in an email he sent to Doug Ibendahl, a Chicago attorney who publishes a political website called Republican New Watch (http://republicannewswatch.com/wp/).
Habeeb Habeeb, the Republican Party chairman in Champaign County, Wednesday called on Allen to resign.
“Jim Allen needs to repent and get on his knees and ask forgiveness from the Lord Almighty, immediately resign his post, call Erika Harold and apologize, and issue a public apology to all the citizens of the 13th Congressional District and the whole nation,” Habeeb wrote.
John Parrott, chair of the McLean County Republican Party, this morning joined Davis and Habeeb in calling for Allen's resignation.
"Jim needs to step down. Those remarks were over the top," said Parrott. "I don't know how the people in that county can ever look up to him for leadership anymore."